Diplomatic missions to Afghanistan of countries including the U.S. have called on Taliban militants to urgently put an end to their current military offensive in the country, in a joint statement published on Monday.

The statement, signed among others by the EU delegation to the country and the office of the NATO Senior Civilian Representative.

It said that the ongoing Taliban offensive was leading to civilian casualties, the displacement of people, and the destruction of public infrastructure across the country.

“The Taliban’s offensive is in direct contradiction to their claim to support a negotiated settlement of the conflict and to the Doha peace process,’’ the statement said.

It also condemned credible reports of attempts to repress the human rights of women and girls and to shut down private and public media organisations in an attempt to conceal their human rights abuses and diminish freedom of expression.

“Afghans have made numerous gains over the past twenty years and want to continue building on their achievements in development, human rights, and free speech.

“We want to underscore that progress made over the past years can only be sustained if all parties work together.’’

The statement came a day after a high-level Afghan delegation concluded a two-day meeting with representatives of the Taliban in Doha, Qatar.

Mohammad Naeem, a spokesman for the Taliban in Doha, after the meeting said that the parties agreed to continue such high-level meetings in the future in a bid to find a political solution to the ongoing conflict.

The warring sides, he continued, had also agreed to prevent harm to the public infrastructure. (DPA/NAN)

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