Tue 12 October 2021:
The new Taliban administration has attempted to build relations with foreign countries to try stave off a catastrophic economic disaster, almost two months after the last Western-backed government collapsed and the organization swept into Kabul.
“The international community need to start cooperating with us,” acting Foreign Minister Mullah Amir Khan Muttaqi said at an event organised by the Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies on Monday.
“With this, we will be able to stop insecurity and at the same time with this, we will be able to engage positively with the world.”
Muttaqi said the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate government was moving carefully but had only been in power for a few weeks and could not be expected to complete reforms the international community had been unable to implement in 20 years.
“They had a lot of financial resources and they had a strong international backing and support but at the same time you are asking us to do all the reforms in two months?” he said.
Muttaqi repeated calls for the United States to lift a block on more than $9bn of Afghan central bank reserves held outside the country but said the government had revenues of its own from taxes, customs tariffs and agriculture if the funds remain frozen.
He said Taliban forces had full control of the country and were able to control the threat from Islamic State in Khorasan Province, ISKP (ISIS-K) fighters who have claimed a series of deadly attacks in recent weeks, including last week’s bombing at a Shia mosque in the northern city of Kunduz.
“The Daesh issue has been controlled by the Islamic Emirate very well so far,” he said, using a local term for the armed group but adding that international pressure on the government was helping the ISKP’s morale.
“Instead of pressure, the world should cooperate with us.”
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