The European Parliament’s Chairs of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Delegation for relations with Afghanistan released their official statement regarding the terrorist attack at the Kabul airport yesterday.
“We condemn in the strongest terms the barbaric attack at Kabul airport in the middle of a dense crowd waiting desperately for evacuation,” the statement reads in part.
“We mourn with the families of the 72 civilians and at least 13 US soldiers who lost their lives. This barbaric act against innocent people is unforgivable. On behalf of the European Parliament, we express our sincerest condolences to the families of the victims.”
The statement comes from Chairs David McAllister (EPP, DE, Committee on Foreign Affairs), Maria Arena (S&D, BE, Subcommittee on Human Rights) and Petras Auštrevičius (Renew, LT, Delegation for relations with Afghanistan), and was issued on Friday.
“We call upon those de facto in power and authority since 15 August 2021 to hold to account those responsible for this terrorist act. The Taliban must assume responsibility for the security of the areas under their control,” MEPs said.
In Belgium, prime minister Alexander De Croo has said he is “horrified by the murderous attacks” that took place yesterday.
Belgium ended its evacuation efforts (known as ‘Operation Red Kite’) from Afghanistan yesterday in anticipation of an imminent terrorist attack – fears that proved to be justified after at least one suicide bomber detonated an explosive in the packed crowds.
A local official told The New York Times that at least 80 civilians had been killed in the attack, in addition to 13 US troops.
Strongly deplore barbaric and deadly actions of ISIS acting in #Afghanistan. Inhumane behaviour of terrorist groups must receive strong and united respond. At least 60 Afghans and 13 US soldiers dead after Kabul airport blasts | Afghanistan | The Guardian https://t.co/5e0FFJz0U7
— Petras Austrevicius (@petras_petras) August 27, 2021
The statement from the MEPs called on the EU and its Member States and partner nations to continue the safe and orderly evacuation of foreign nationals and Afghans who wish to leave the country.
“We reiterate our call to all sides in Afghanistan to abstain from any form of violence, to put in place an immediate and permanent ceasefire and to pursue peace negotiations,” their statement concluded.
“International humanitarian law and basic human rights, in particular the rights of women, girls and minorities must be respected.”