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UN chief Guterres voices concern over Afghanistan, but remains hopeful

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Friday that he was concerned, but hopeful, of the situation in Afghanistan, in his first interview since the fall of Kabul to the Taliban.

During the exclusive interview with Al Arabiya, Guterres called on the Taliban to respect human rights and specifically those of women.

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He also noted that the Taliban was responsible for the safety and security of the airport in Kabul.

Turning to the yearslong war in Yemen, Guterres called on the Iran-backed Houthis to understand the importance of a ceasefire. Guterres lamented the “great deal” of suffering that the Yemeni people had endured over the years.

Asked about Libya, Guterres called on all sides to stop bickering and fighting. “Enough is enough,” he said.

As for Iraq and the upcoming elections this year, Guterres said the UN would do all it could to support “free and transparent” elections.

Iraq could be an example of stability in the region and the Gulf, he added.