Transcript of Blinken’s Speech on ‘New Chapter’ in Afghanistan

Fifth, we’ll keep targeted on counterterrorism. The Taliban has made a dedication to forestall terrorist teams from utilizing Afghanistan as a base for exterior operations that might threaten the USA or our allies, together with Al Qaeda and the Taliban’s sworn enemy, ISIS-Okay. Right here, too, we’ll maintain them accountable to that dedication. However whereas we’ve expectations of the Taliban, that doesn’t imply we’ll depend on the Taliban. We’ll stay vigilant in monitoring threats ourselves and can preserve sturdy counterterrorism capabilities within the area to neutralize these threats if obligatory, as we demonstrated previously few days by putting ISIS facilitators and imminent threats in Afghanistan — and as we do in locations world wide the place we do not need army forces on the bottom.

Let me communicate on to our engagement with the Taliban throughout these and different points. We engaged with the Taliban through the previous few weeks to allow our evacuation operations. Going ahead, any engagement with a Taliban-led authorities in Kabul will probably be pushed by one factor solely: our important nationwide pursuits. If we are able to work with the brand new Afghan authorities in a method that helps safe these pursuits, together with the protected return of Mark Frerichs, a U.S. citizen who has been held hostage within the area since early final yr, and in a method that brings larger stability to the nation and area and protects the features of the previous twenty years, we’ll do it.

However we won’t do it on the premise of belief or religion. Each step we take will probably be primarily based not on what the Taliban-led authorities says however what it does to stay as much as its commitments. The Taliban seeks worldwide legitimacy and assist. Our message is any legitimacy and any assist must be earned. The Taliban can do this by assembly commitments and obligations on freedom of journey, respecting the essential rights of the Afghan folks, together with girls and minorities, upholding its commitments on counterterrorism, not finishing up reprisal violence in opposition to those that select to remain in Afghanistan, and forming an inclusive authorities that may meet the wants and replicate the aspirations of the Afghan folks.

Sixth, we’ll proceed our humanitarian help to the folks of Afghanistan. The battle has taken a horrible toll on the Afghan folks. Thousands and thousands are internally displaced. Thousands and thousands are dealing with starvation, even hunger. The Covid-19 pandemic has additionally hit Afghanistan arduous. The US will proceed to assist humanitarian support to the Afghan folks. Per our sanctions on the Taliban, the help won’t circulate via the federal government however fairly via impartial organizations reminiscent of U.N. businesses and N.G.O.s. And we count on that these efforts won’t be impeded by the Taliban or anybody else.

And seventh, we’ll proceed our broad worldwide diplomacy throughout all these points and lots of others. We imagine we are able to accomplish much more and exert far larger leverage once we work in coordination with our allies and companions. During the last two weeks, we’ve had a collection of intensive diplomatic engagements with allies and companions to plan and coordinate the way in which forward in Afghanistan. I met with the international ministers of NATO and the G7. I’ve spoken one-on-one with dozens of my counterparts.

Final week, president Biden met with the leaders of the G7 nations, and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman has been convening a bunch of 28 allies and companions from all areas of the world each different day. Going ahead, we’ll coordinate carefully with nations within the area and world wide in addition to with main organizations, N.G.O.s and the personal sector. Our allies and companions share our targets and are dedicated to working with us. I’ll have extra to say on these issues within the coming days.

The primary level I wish to drive residence right here in the present day is that America’s work in Afghanistan continues. We’ve a plan for what’s subsequent. We’re placing it into motion. This second additionally calls for reflection. The struggle in Afghanistan was a 20-year endeavor. We should study its classes, and permit these classes to form how we take into consideration basic questions of nationwide safety and international coverage. We owe that to future diplomats, policymakers, army leaders, service members. We owe that to the American folks.

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