After Taliban takeover, over 60 countries urge safety for those who want to leave

Kabul, Aug 16 (UNI) At least 64 countries have signed a joint statement calling for the safe and orderly departure of people who want to leave Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban takeover of the country, that culminated in the collapse of the government of Ashraf Ghani, who later left the nation.
Canada, France, Germany and the UK have signed the statement.
“Given the deteriorating security situation, we support, are working to secure, and call on all parties to respect and facilitate the safe and orderly departure of foreign nationals and Afghans who wish to leave the country.
“Those in positions of power and authority across Afghanistan bear responsibility—and accountability—for the protection of human life and property, and for the immediate restoration of security and civil order,” said the statement.
“Afghans and international citizens who wish to depart must be allowed to do so; roads, airports and border crossings must remain open and calm must be maintained,” it noted.
“The Afghan people deserve to live in safety, security and dignity. We in the international community stand ready to assist them.”
The statement comes after the Taliban took control of the country as Afghan government forces either fled or surrendered. The Taliban on Sunday evening took control of the presidential palace in Kabul.
Abdullah Abdullah, head of Afghanistan’s National Reconciliation Council, in a video message, said later that “the former president” Ghani had left the country.
“He [Ghani] left Afghanistan in a hard time. God holds him accountable,” Abdullah said in the message.
Former President Hamid Karzai, Abdullah and former prime minister and veteran politician Gulbuddin Hekmatyar have formed a council to ensure smooth transfer of power.
Later, Ghani said in a message that he had left Kabul in order to avoid bloodshed.
The Taliban’s consultative council has already announced a general amnesty for Afghan forces and government officials in the case of an unconditional surrender.

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