Monday, December 5, 2022

Taliban say US ‘biggest hurdle’ to intl. recognition

The Taliban have alleged the United States is blocking their way to securing international recognition for the group’s new government in Afghanistan.

The group seized power last August and installed an all-male interim administration following the end of almost 20 years of US-led foreign military intervention in the war-torn South Asian country.

“As far as recognition by foreign countries is concerned, I think the United States is the biggest obstacle,” chief Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said when asked to explain whether his group’s policies or any country was responsible for the delay in winning the legitimacy.

“It [America] does not allow other countries to move in this direction and has itself not taken any step on this count either,” he added, while responding to reporters’ questions via a Taliban-run WhatsApp group for reporters.

Mujahid claimed that the Taliban had met “all the requirements” for their government to be given diplomatic recognition.

He asserted all countries, including the United States, need to realize that political engagement with the Taliban is in “everyone’s interest.” It would allow the world to formally discuss “the grievances” they have with the Taliban.

Mujahid insisted Taliban leaders “want better” bilateral ties with the US in line with the agreement the two countries signed in Doha, Qatar, in February 2020. Washington also needs to move toward establishing better ties with Kabul, he said.

“We were enemies and fighting the United States so long as it had occupied Afghanistan. That war has ended now,” he added.

No country has yet recognized the Taliban as legitimate rulers of the country, mainly over their harsh treatment of Afghan women and girls.

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