The Latest: Pakistan says no rush to recognize Taliban gov't

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Afghan drivers and passengers stuck in a traffic jam look at Taliban fighters riding in the back of a pickup truck in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Sept. 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

The Latest on the U.N. General Assembly (all times local):


UNITED NATIONS -- Pakistan’s foreign minister says Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers should understand that if they want recognition and assistance in rebuilding the war-battered country “they have to be more sensitive and more receptive to international opinion and norms.”

Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Monday evening that countries are watching to see how things evolve in Afghanistan before considering recognition. He says, “I don’t think anyone is in a rush to recognize at this stage.”

The Pakistani minister says his country’s objective is peace and stability in Afghanistan and to achieve that “we would suggest to Afghans that they should have an inclusive government.” He says their initial statements indicate they aren’t averse to the idea, so “let’s see.”

Qureshi expresses hope the Taliban live up to their promise “that girls and women would be allowed to go to school, college and university.”

Qureshi strongly urges the United States and other countries that have frozen money from the former Afghan government to release it because “that’s Afghan money that should be spent on Afghan people.”


UNITED NATIONS -- The top European Union official is criticizing the United States for a “lack of transparency and loyalty” towards its trans-Atlantic partners, as evidenced by America’s unilateral decision to withdraw from Afghanistan and its new Pacific defense pact that left France out in the cold.

EU Council President Charles Michel told a small group of reporters Monday that these U.S. decisions showed “a clear lack of transparency and loyalty, loyalty and loyalty,” despite President Joe Biden’s announcement earlier this year that “America is back” after four years of former president Donald Trump’s “America First” policies.

Michel repeated that “the trans-Atlantic alliance is a paramount alliance for us in the EU.”

“I’m not putting in question this alliance," he added, “but I’m asking: Is there a doubt in the United States about the importance of this alliance with Europe?”

He said the announcement of the new U.S.-UK-Australia alliance and Washington’s decision, with the UK, to sell nuclear-powered submarines to Australia in a move that killed a pre-existing deal between France and Australia, has “consequences.”

Michel said “there is the need for a debate on what does it mean for us in Europe.” He said a discussion on the EU’s future relationship with China was already on the agenda of an upcoming informal dinner.


NEW YORK — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stressed the importance of coronavirus vaccines during a meeting with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who says he has not been inoculated.

The two men met Monday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. As journalists were ushered out of the room at the start of the bilateral meeting, Johnson said: “Thanks everybody, get AstraZeneca vaccines.”

Johnson told Bolsonaro: “I’ve had it twice,” referring to the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was developed at Oxford University.

The Brazilian leader pointed at himself and said “not yet,” then laughed.

In a statement after the meeting, Johnson’s office said the prime minister had “underlined the importance of vaccines as our best tool to fight the virus and save lives around the world, and emphasised the important role the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has played in the U.K, Brazil and elsewhere.”


NEW YORK — Leaders, government ministers and other dignitaries from more than 120 countries and international organizations headed to ground zero Monday for a U.N. commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.

The U.N. said more than 300 people went to the National Sept. 11 Memorial & Museum for the ceremony. Memorial President Alice Greenwald called it “a powerful demonstration of global solidarity” with terror victims.

The visitors included Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen; Cyprus’ President Nicos Anastasiades; Guyanese President Irfaan Ali; Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda; Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Zeljko Komsic, the Croat representative in Bosnia’s multiethnic presidency.

They are in New York for this week’s big meeting at the U.N. General Assembly, about four miles (6.5 km) from the site where two hijacked planes plowed into the World Trade Center’s twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001. Ultimately, nearly 3,000 people from more than 90 countries were killed at the trade center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field.

Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares urged those gathered at Monday’s tribute to “restate our commitment towards our common collaboration to fight against terrorism and in favor of the victims” as he and the U.N.’s top counterterrorism official, Vladimir Voronkov, laid wreaths.