The Taliban are “pragmatic” and should be judged by their actions

(Doha) A minister from Qatar, a country at the center of diplomatic negotiations on the matter, told AFP that the Taliban had shown “pragmatism” and should be judged for their actions as the “actual rulers” of Afghanistan. The new system has not yet been recognized.


Anne Levasseur
France media agency

In an exclusive interview with AFP recorded Monday evening – before the new Afghan government was announced, Deputy Foreign Minister and Government Spokesperson Lolwa Al-Khater called on the international community to remain constructive in managing its crises, believing that it was up to “Afghans to decide their future.”

“They showed a good dose of pragmatism,” she said. “Let’s seize the opportunities that appear and […] Let’s put our emotions aside. ”

Qatar has become a key player in the crisis, in the role of a neutral and influential mediator. He particularly welcomed the negotiations concluded in 2020 between the United States of former President Donald Trump and the Taliban, and then between the latter and the Afghan opposition to ousted President Ashraf Ghani.

In recent days, he has urged the Taliban to respect Western demands, including respect for women’s rights and the ability to leave the country freely.

NSI Al-Khater, who is a prominent public figure in the emirate, including other major issues such as health crisis management, insisted this time that the international community should accept the concrete measures taken by the new masters of Kabul according to the implementation, saying that they consider them legitimate.

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“rational approach”

“They are the actual rulers, there is no doubt about that,” she said. “We are not pushing for diplomatic recognition” of the new system and “we will not stop debating” if they do not honor all their promises, the spokeswoman said.

Since this interview, the Taliban have announced that key ministers form their government headed by Muhammad Hassan Akhund, a close friend of Mullah Omar, its founder. Washington then said it wanted to “judge the Taliban by their actions, not their words”, concerned about “the affiliations and backgrounds of some of these individuals”.

The Qatari minister stressed that recognition of the regime “is a tool that we can use not only by us, but by the international community,” calling for “a very rational, not emotional, approach, in order to show (to the Taliban) the benefit they have to discuss.” […] And the consequences “will suffer if they refuse to do so.

“This middle track is our recommendation to our partners,” she reiterated, as German, Dutch, British, Italian and American diplomatic chiefs followed each other in Doha within eight days, dedicating the pivotal role of this small bay. condition.

As a sign of Taliban goodwill, Mr.I Al-Khater indicated that they did not oppose the exit of more than 120 thousand people from the country, and that some ministries were working normally, especially health. “Doctors and nurses can take on their responsibilities,” she said.

“Is the picture rosy?” No, it’s not,” however, said the nuances. The way out of the crisis “will consist of a confidence-building process, it will be gradual. But we must respond primarily to all the positive steps on their part, with positive steps on our part.”

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“facilitators”

She also noted that the difficulty of women’s work in Afghanistan is not the only reality of the Taliban, but also logistical issues in rural areas and the weight of strong traditions. Let us all remember that Afghanistan is not only about elites and Kabul. ”

And Qatar stepped up, in recent days, with its ally Turkey, to rehabilitate the capital’s airport, especially for the resumption of humanitarian aid. The situation has become very complicated in the country and could get worse with the onset of winter, according to experts.

NSI Al-Khater, who has been everywhere since the beginning of the month receiving Afghan refugees in transit in the emirate, saw that aid could be resumed and called on UN agencies not to “politicize” their interventions to “focus on aid and development.”

He is responsible for alerting Westerners to their attempts to link the country to reading networks that do not suit him.

The people of Afghanistan should be able to have their say, like everyone else. She stressed that the Taliban’s response to the international community does not mean that they control the future of “the country and its people.

As for the fallen critics of the wealthy emirate, who were sometimes accused of legitimizing the Taliban and facilitating their rise to power, she replied: “Do not kill the Prophet. Qatar was the Messenger of […]. We acted as facilitators, but the heroes were the ones who reached these agreements,” referring to the United States, the Taliban and other Afghan political groups.

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