Region should extend all support to Kabul: Haysom
MAIMANA (Pajhwok): The United Nations top representative in Afghanistan on Thursday said regional countries should extend to Kabul their support in encountering terrorism which was not an Afghanistan problem, but a regional phenomenon.
Nicholas Haysom, the UN secretary general’s special representative for Afghanistan and the world body’s assistance mission (UNAMA) chief, was talking to reporters after meeting local officials in northern Faryab province’s capital Maimana.
He praised Afghan security forces and said they had been largely able to stand ground albeit a very marked increase in the intensity of the conflict.
“But I would want to share with you that one of the issues I drew the attention of the (UN) Security Council to was that it seemed to me that the countries of the region from which many of these fighters come, and the countries of the region to which many of them are going, are now fighting, as it were, their fight in Afghanistan.”
“And it seems to me proper that the region should be extending to Afghanistan all the support that it can in encountering what is not an Afghanistan problem, but a regional phenomenon.”
About UN’s role in maintaining peace, providing employment and improving the country’s economic status, Haysom said the UN had indicated it intended to stay in Afghanistan for a long time and certainly for as long as Afghans would want the world’s body to be present.
“I should just emphasize, our presence in Afghanistan is not a recent phenomenon. We have been here for 50 years and we intend to be with the Afghan people as they take on the longer term challenges of development and building the institutions in the country.”
About his visit to Faryab, Haysom said: “I think it’s very important for the United Nations to get out of Kabul and to come and see how people in the provinces are meeting the challenges which they face. I think all over Afghanistan people are really confronting quite significant challenges.”
He said he had the benefit of a very full briefing from the provincial governor, certainly giving him both information and messages to be taken back to Kabul.
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