The leader of the Taliban said Sunday in a statement they want to develop good relations with the United States and are committed to a political settlement to the conflict in Afghanistan.
The story: The Taliban’s supreme leader Maulawi Hibatullah Akhunzada issued a lengthy statement on Sunday, ahead of next week’s Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, which was shared on the official Twitter account of Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.
In it, he explained that the movement does not want any foreign entities to interfere in the effort to establish peace with Afghanistan.
The supreme leader pointed out that they seek to maintain good relations with other countries, including the United States, but only after all of American’s forces leave Afghanistan.
“We seek good and strong diplomatic, economic and political relations in the framework of reciprocal interaction and mutual agreements with all world countries including America following the withdrawal of all foreign forces, and consider such beneficial for all sides,” the statement said.
“We fully assure neighboring, regional and world countries that Afghanistan will not permit anyone to pose a security threat to any other country using our soil. And we similarly urge other countries to refrain from all interference in our own internal affairs.”
The statement also said that the Taliban “strenuously favours” a political settlement there, “in spite of the military gains and advances.”
“Every opportunity for the establishment of an Islamic system, peace and security that presents itself will be made use of by the Islamic Emirate,” Akhundzada added.
Worth noting: The announcement came as representatives of the Taliban and the Afghan government sat down for a new round of talks in Doha, which took place over the weekend. The talks aim to end the decades-long war in the country. So far, both sides have made little progress.
Taliban militants continue to attack in several provides and thousands of Afghans have applies for visas, in hopes of leaving the country. The two sides also cannot seem to find common ground on the name. Kabul insists on the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan while the Taliban want the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
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