New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern and United Nations Secretary General Antonio Gutteres beg the Taliban to protect women's human rights as China and Russia prepare to formally accept militants' rule of Afghanistan
- Ardern sad she wants 'women and girls being able to access work and education'
- Her plea comes as China, Russia, Pakistan, Turkey are mediating with Taliban
- Boris Johnson has warned that no country should recognise a Taliban state
- China and Pakistan could be first to break ranks with international community
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has begged the Taliban to uphold women's rights after the Islamists toppled the government in Kabul amid fears that the country will once again become 'a breeding ground for terror.'
'I would just again implore those who made these moves in recent days to acknowledge what the international community has called for - human rights and the safety of their people,' she said at a news conference in the capital Wellington.
'What we want to see is women and girls being able to access work and education. These are things that have traditionally not been available to them where there has been governance by Taliban.'
Ardern's mediation comes as China, Russia, Pakistan and Turkey all appear set to formally recognise Taliban rule, while others like British Prime Minister Boris Johnson have warned that no state should recognise the new government.
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Gutteres tweeted last night: 'I'm deeply concerned about the situation in Afghanistan & urge the Taliban & all others to exercise utmost restraint to protect lives & ensure humanitarian needs can be met.'
The terror group marched victorious into Kabul on Sunday, the culmination of a rapid advance across the country which was left open by the sudden U.S. and Nato withdrawal after 20 years of fighting post-9/11.
The Taliban have been on a charm offensive since the dark days of 2001 in an attempt to mitigate fears about a return to the brutally oppressive regime which ruled the country.
But Christian Guy, a former special advisor to Mr Johnson, called interventions like those of Gutteres and Ardern 'delusional' because they failed to understand the brutal ideology behind the Taliban.
'They are raping women and girls, murdering adults, selling 12 year olds as sex slaves - and they are only just getting re-started. All these international calls for 'restraint, human rights and peaceful transition' are beyond delusional and actually insulting,' Guy tweeted.
China and Pakistan are believed to be the first in line to break ranks with the international community in order to form closer ties with the Taliban.
Russia today said its ambassador to Afghanistan will meet with the Taliban in Kabul on Tuesday, although it has not yet formally recognised any new government.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also pledged to work alongside Pakistan to help ensure stability in Afghanistan to prevent mass migration.
The jihadists issued a statement claiming they would protect people's lives and property and create a peaceful and secure environment. They also announced an amnesty for anyone who worked for U.S.-led foreign forces or the old government.
However, Britain, the U.S. and other Nato countries, the blood of whose soldiers has been spilled on Afghan soil for two decades, are reluctant to grant the Taliban legitimacy.
British PM Johnson said on Sunday: 'We don't want anybody bilaterally recognising the Taliban.'
'We want a united position amongst all the like-minded as far as we can get one so that we do whatever we can to prevent Afghanistan lapsing back into being a breeding ground for terror.'
Asked whether he would have expected the country to fall to the Taliban so quickly, he replied: 'I think it's fair to say that the U.S. decision to pull out has accelerated things.'
In China, a series of photos were published last month by state media showing Foreign Minister Wang Yi standing shoulder to shoulder with visiting Taliban officials decked out in traditional tunic and turban in Tianjin.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin said that there are no plans to evacuate the Russian Embassy in Kabul, with Russian state media reporting that the Sunni Islamist group formed after the Soviet withdrawal of Afghanistan has promised to guarantee the safety of its diplomatic staff.
'The organisation has 'good relations with Russia' and a 'policy in general to ensure safe conditions for the functioning of the Russian and other embassies,' news agency AP quoted Suhail Shaheen, a spokesman for the Taliban's political office, as saying to Tass.
And Iran, which has long been wary of the Sunni Muslim Taliban, has moved to ensure the safety of its diplomats and staff after previously offering to help end the crisis during talks in July.