Truss to call on China and Russia to ‘act as one’ on Afghanistan

·2-min read

The Foreign Secretary is due to confront Russia and China over the future of Afghanistan at a meeting of ministers from some of the world’s largest military powers.

Liz Truss will chair talks with counterparts from the US, France, China and Russia – the countries that, along with the UK, make up the five permanent members of the United Nations security council – in New York on Wednesday.

The Cabinet minister is set to use the meeting to encourage Beijing and Moscow to “act as one” with other international military forces to prevent Afghanistan once again becoming a stronghold for global terrorists after the Taliban took control of the central Asian country last month.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is also due to join the discussions.

Afghanistan is expected to be high on the agenda when foreign ministers from the five permanent members of the UN security council meet
Afghanistan is expected to be high on the agenda when foreign ministers from the five permanent members of the UN security council meet (Niall Carson/PA)

The meeting of the so-called “P5” will come only a day after Ms Truss, who took over as Foreign Secretary after Dominic Raab was demoted in Boris Johnson’s reshuffle this month, accompanied the Prime Minister on his visit to Washington DC to hold bilateral talks with US president Joe Biden.

Speaking ahead of the security council meeting, the Foreign Secretary said: “The P5 have clear shared interests in maintaining stability in volatile regions to prevent terrorism and keep our citizens safe.

“If we want to avoid Afghanistan becoming a haven for global terror then the international community – including Russia and China – needs to act as one in its engagement with the Taliban.

“I want our foreign policy to be practically focused and geared towards strengthening our network of economic and diplomatic partnerships, underpinned by strong security ties.

“My visit to the UN is the start of an autumn where Global Britain leads the way on the world stage.”

According to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, the security council meeting, which will take place in the margins of the UN General Assembly, will see the five foreign ministers “discuss the world’s most pressing crises”.

Officials said Ms Truss will call for greater co-operation among the members on maintaining international peace and security amid a backdrop of ongoing conflicts and crises, including in Afghanistan, Myanmar, Yemen and Tigray.

The last meeting of P5 foreign ministers with the UN secretary-general was convened by China in 2019 before the coronavirus pandemic.

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