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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Taliban urges world recognition to ‘fight terror, drug smuggling’

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The Taliban‘s newly formed government has requested international recognition and financial support to help rebuild the war-torn country.

The world should recognise the Taliban’s government in order to begin steps to eradicate drugs and fight terrorism, the group’s new Acting Deputy Prime Minister of Afghanistan Abdul Salam Hanafi said.

Hanafi, a key member in the negotiations in Doha, is a senior Taliban leader and was appointed by the movement as acting deputy member after the new interim government earlier this month.

In an interview with Qatar-based broadcaster Al Jazeera, the Taliban official stressed the newly-formed Afghan governments desire to establish relations with the United States – opening a new page for diplomatic ties between the long-time enemies.

The group also wants to establish relations with Washington and the rest of the world on the condition of mutual respect, he added.

He also praised Qatar’s role in the ongoing Afghan reconciliation as well as humanitarian and political efforts to help Afghanistan and its people.

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The comments on Sunday came as Afghanistan’s former runaway leader Ashraf Ghani said his Facebook was hacked after an unlikely statement was published suggesting his support of the group.

The statement, posted in Pashto urged the international community to recognise the new leaders to kickstart efforts to re-build the country.

Taliban at the UN

With the Taliban taking the reins in Afghanistan, questions over the recognition have remained on the surface of diplomatic negotiations, with officials saying this is not a priority as the worsening humanitarian situation in the country needs more attention.

“Yesterday in our discussion with the government there we encouraged them to engage with the international community because as we stated since the beginning the role of Qatar has been impartial. Isolation is not an answer, recognition is not a priority,” Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said earlier this month.

“What we believe can be helpful and more constructive is to engage with the Taliban to make sure the positive statements they put out are also followed with actions,” he added, saying he advises the group to be open and engage with the public.

Last week, reports said the Taliban requested to be involved at the United Nations in New York and even nominated its Doha-based Suhail Shaheen spokesman as the country’s new ambassador at the intergovernmental organisation.

Reuters reported that the new Taliban-appointed Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi submitted the request in a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday.

Though world powers remain hesitant, giving the Taliban a seat at the UN would be a significant step in the latest transition in Afghanistan’s politics, as international recognition would potentially lead to unfreezing funds that can help Kabul handle its current economic crisis.


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