The Taliban repeated its vows on Monday to ensure Afghanistan does not again become a bastion of international terror groups, but said it wants to ensure foreign nations do not interfere in its domestic affairs.
Addressing a Washington-based aid conference, Amir Khan Muttaqi, the Taliban’s acting foreign minister, said the group “will not allow anyone to use the territory of Afghanistan to harm others, and will also not allow others to interfere in our internal affairs.”
“We respect legitimate interests and demands of other nations, and in return we expect similar treatment from others,” he said.
The Taliban overran the formerly internationally-recognized government in Afghanistan in August following a two-decade long insurgency campaign that left tens of thousands of people dead across the country. Their 2020 military offensive saw government forces collapse and officials flee the nation of roughly 39 million.
Muttaqi claimed that the Taliban’s most recent violent push for power “transpired in a very peaceful manner without any bloodshed.”
“The IEA (Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan) entered Kabul with a message of national unity, and opened its arms of peace and brotherhood to its past political and even military rivals,” he said, using the Taliban’s preferred name for its government. “It would be rare to find such civilized, humane and Islamic conduct in history.”
Muttaqi said some 500,000 civil servants from the defunct internationally-recognized government have continued their positions under the Taliban, saying the de facto government has “utilized their capabilities without prejudice.”
The collapse of the internationally-recognized government led to Afghanistan’s foreign assets being frozen, and a halt being placed on international aid to the de facto government.
The international community has also avoided granting the Taliban recognition amid concerns that it could return to the hardline rule it imposed from 1996 to 2001 that saw severe restrictions imposed around the country, particularly on women.