English Section

      Buddhism Today 

Vietnamese Section


...... ... .  . .  .  .
France hopeful of getting Taliban to reverse decision
Ranvir Nayar

PARIS (March 9): Even though days of continuous shelling by anti-aircraft guns has already caused serious damage to the Buddha statues in various parts of Afghanistan, France says it has not yet abandoned hope and is trying to get the Taliban authorities to reverse their decision.

A special French envoy is keeping up his efforts to establish contacts with Taliban authorities in Kabul in order to convince the Afghan militia to stop the destruction of these statues that date back about 2,000 years.

Pierre Lafrance has already held meetings with the Taliban foreign affairs Minister Wakil Ahmad Muttawakil and delivered the message of Koichiro Maatsura, the director general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), according to official sources here.

"He is now trying to meet other leaders in Kabul in order to bring about a change of heart regarding the destruction of the statues," an official of the French foreign affairs ministry said in Paris. "We are also maintaining constant contact with all those who are trying to stop the destruction of these pre-Islamic statues, especially those countries that have official relations with the Taliban regime."

The French foreign affairs ministry says France has also noted the positions taken by various religious leaders of Islam regarding the destruction of the statues. The European Union, too, has urged the Taliban authorities to stop the destruction.


Updated: 9-3-2001

Return to "Buddhism around the World"

Top of Page