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China, Russia to recognise Taliban rule of Afghanistan as US flees

Taliban fighters patrol the streets of Kabul on August 16, 2021 [Zakeria HASHIMI/AFP via Getty Images]
Taliban fighters patrol the streets of Kabul on August 16, 2021 [Zakeria HASHIMI/AFP via Getty Images]

China and Russia are expected to recognise Taliban-governed Afghanistan, as their embassies remain in Kabul while the US and its Western allies evacuate the country. They join neighbouring Pakistan, Iran in addition to Turkey who is on course to formally recognise the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

According to the South China Morning Post, both countries have no plans of leaving Afghanistan with their embassies remaining open. Today China's Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that Beijing "respects the wishes and choices of the Afghan people" and added that it hoped the Taliban will rule the country under an "open, inclusive Islamic government".

READ: Taliban control over Afghanistan will affect Israel's security, warns official

Russia, meanwhile, is in contact with Taliban authorities via its envoy, according to Moscow's special representative in the country. "They are talking in Kabul. All contacts are being made there at the moment. The embassy is dealing with this," the representative, Zamir Kabulov, was quoted as telling Reuters today.

In a statement, the Taliban said that the group assured "all embassies, diplomatic centres, institutions, places and foreign nationals" in the capital that they would be protected.

Russia and China, which have maintained diplomatic ties with the Taliban for several years, also concluded a week-long military exercise, for the first time using a joint command and control system.

OPINION: America and its allies helped the Taliban on the road to victory

A joint statement issued today by more than 65 countries, excluding China and Russia, called on the Taliban to ensure the safe passage of foreign nationals and Afghans wishing to leave the country. There have already been reports of fatalities after US troops overseeing the evacuation of the last flights out of the country fired shots in the air, amid chaotic scenes at Kabul airport.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has since fled the country after stepping down as leader following negotiations with the Taliban who entered the Presidential Palace yesterday.

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