On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the European Union expressed concern about violence in war-torn Afghanistan, saying "The EU appeals to the warring parties to immediately cease fighting and to return to the negotiating table."
The spokesperson also communicated the EU's concern about high numbers of displaced people in the region and "deteriorating humanitarian conditions." In a statement, the EU "called on those states who interfere in the internal affairs of Afghanistan to stop" and on "neighboring states to prevent the flow of arms and personnel from and through their countries."
Meanwhile, the United Nations continues to express similar concerns. U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan made an appeal for peace last week to the countries bordering Afghanistan. He stated that he hoped they would remain neutral in Afghanistan's civil war because "even as a purely internal conflict, the Afghan crisis is a clear menace to regional peace and stability."
Annan also condemned Afghanistan's ruling Taliban regime for expecting aid from the UN while, at the same time committing terrible human rights abuses. He commented, "The parties responsible for such disasters cannot, cynically, commit such criminal acts and then turn to the UN and the international community as a whole to help save their own people from disasters provoked by those who claim to be the country’s leaders."
The UN Security Council is requesting that peace negotiations resume under the auspices of the United Nations.
The Taliban recently reiterated its support for Osama bin Laden, whom the U.S. government has accused of masterminding the bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania last year.
Media Resources: Agence France Press - August 6 and August 10, 1999
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