Prince Faisal warns protracted Afghan crisis may snowball and affect region


Islamabad (Kuwait News Agency) — The Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan on Sunday urged world aid in order for Afghans to cope with dramatic living hardships and warned protracted instability in the troubled nation may eventually ripple negatively across the whole region.

Prince Faisal was addressing the extraordinary session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM), held at the Pakistani House building to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.

Prince Faisal said participants in the OIC meeting expressed solidarity with the Afghans and called for immediate global action to put an end to the situation in the war-torn country.

He further said that the economic difficulties could trigger a humanitarian crisis and lead to further instability, which could impact regional and international peace. “The people of Afghanistan have suffered for too long,” he said, adding that they had faced years of instability.

Prince Faisal urged OIC member states to play a part in providing the Afghans with the necessary support and to prevent an economic collapse in the country.

Highlighting the assistance provided by the Kingdom in the past, he said that Saudi Arabia had recently airlifted food supplies on the directives of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman.

He said, “We promote peace and security as it requires cooperative action from the international community.” He also expressed the hope that the OIC meeting would come up with a proper resolution as well as recommendations to alleviate the difficulties being faced by the Afghans.

OIC Secretary General Hissein Brahim Taha voiced his appreciation for Saudi Arabia for supporting “Islamic solidarity”, and thanked Pakistan for the cordial welcome. “This effort gives a universal message of harmony and solidarity,” he said, adding that the Afghan issue has always been high on the OIC agenda.

“The OIC has always taken a strong position which supports its member countries, the joint secretariat calls for the sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Afghanistan,” he said.

The OIC secretary general said that the role of OIC members in delivering humanitarian assistance was more important now than ever before as the pandemic had exacerbated existing challenges.

“We commend the humanitarian assistance provided by some member states to the Afghan people. We also call for all parties concerned to cooperate with the OIC mission in Kabul to provide relief to the affected Afghan people,” he added.

“The OIC is ready to carry out a follow-up of the outcome and to play its role in supporting humanitarian action in coordination with the relevant OIC missions and relief agencies across the Muslim world,” said the OIC Secretary General.

Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan in a statement to media expressed the hope that the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the 57-member Muslim bloc would focus spotlight on humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

The foreign ministers of about 20 countries have attended the meeting, while 10 other countries are being represented by their deputy ministers. The rest have sent senior officials for the session.

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