It took the Taliban just over a week to seize control of the country in August this year, after a lightning sweep that ended in Kabul as Afghan forces, trained for years and equipped by the United States and others at a cost of billions of dollars, melted away. Image Credit: AP

Cairo: Saudi Arabia has called on the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to hold an extraordinary meeting to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

Pakistan has offered to host the meeting on December 18. Saudi Arabia said it hopes that the meeting will come up with “appropriate mechanisms” to offer humanitarian aid to the Afghan people, coordinate related steps with the UN and its agencies as well as with international financial institutions with the aim of mitigating the impact of the humanitarian crisis on the Afghans.

Afghanistan has seen a halt to much foreign aid since the Taliban movement’s takeover of the country last August.

Saudi Arabia has warned that a potential economic meltdown in Afghanistan and deteriorating living standards there will not only result in a “humanitarian tragedy”, but will also result in more instability in Afghanistan and dire consequences for world peace.

The kingdom said it hopes that the OIC meeting will be a chance to stress the importance of Afghanistan’s stability and territorial integrity and repudiate all forms of terrorism.

It also urged the Afghan government to include all Afghan factions, comply with international pacts and respect human rights, including women’s rights to education and work.