KABUL—The Taliban has called on the United States and other countries to recognize its government in Afghanistan, saying that failure to do so, along with the continued freezing of Afghan funds abroad, would lead to problems not only for the country, but for the world.
No country has formally recognized the Taliban government since the terrorist group took over the country in August, while billions of dollars in Afghan assets and funds abroad have also been frozen, even as the country faces severe economic and humanitarian crises.
“Our message to America is, if unrecognition continues, Afghan problems continue, it is the problem of the region and could turn into a problem for the world,” Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told journalists at a news conference on Oct. 30.
He said the reason that the Taliban and the United States went to war in 2001 was that the two nations didn’t have formal diplomatic ties. The United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001 following the Sept. 11, 2001, attack, after the then-Taliban government refused to hand over al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
“Those issues which caused the war, they could have been solved through negotiation, they could have been solved through political compromise, too,” Mujahid said.
He stated that recognition of the Taliban government was the right of the Afghan people.
While no country has recognized the Taliban government, senior officials from a number of countries have met with the movement’s leadership both in Kabul, Afghanistan, and abroad.
The latest visit was by Turkmen Foreign Minister Rasit Meredow, who was in Kabul on Oct 30. The two sides discussed the speedy implementation of the Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India (TAPI) gas pipeline, Mujahid wrote on Twitter.
China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, met Taliban officials in Qatar. Mujahid said on Oct. 30 that China had promised to finance transport infrastructure and to give Kabul’s exports access to Chinese markets via neighboring Pakistan.
Mujahid also spoke at length about the issues facing border crossings, particularly with Pakistan, which has seen frequent closures and protests in recent days. The crossings are crucial for landlocked Afghanistan.
He said serious talks on the matter were held when Pakistan’s foreign minister recently traveled to Kabul last week.
By Gibran Peshimam and Islamabad newsroom