Saudi Arabia has called on the Taliban to ensure the safety of Afghan civilians and to protect their lives and properties, maintaining that the kingdom will accept whatever decision the Afghan people make.
In a statement released on state-run media, the Saudi Foreign Ministry yesterday assured that "the kingdom stands with the choices that the Afghan people make without interference." It cited "the noble principles of Islam" in its hopes that "the Taliban movement and all Afghan parties will work to preserve security, stability, lives, and property."
Following the Taliban's conquest of the Afghan capital Kabul on Sunday and its ousting of the previous government, there has been international concern over the stability in the country and the potential consequences of the Taliban's return to rule after 20 years of insurgency.
Other Arab Gulf nations are also considering their stance towards the new Taliban government, or the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), with Bahrain – the head of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – holding consultations with GCC member states regarding the situation in Afghanistan.
During the Taliban's governance over most of Afghanistan in the late 1990s, Saudi Arabia was one of the few countries to recognise its rule. Following the 9/11 attacks in 2001 and the incoming invasion by the United States and its coalition, however, the kingdom and its neighbour the United Arab Emirates (UAE) withdrew their recognition and cut ties with the group.