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Ex-Qatar PM calls for direct talks with the Taliban

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad (L) and Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (R) sign a peace agreement between US, Taliban, in Doha, Qatar on 29 February 2020. [Fatih Aktaş - Anadolu Agency]
US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad (L) and Taliban co-founder Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar (R) sign a peace agreement between US, Taliban, in Doha, Qatar on 29 February 2020. [Fatih Aktaş - Anadolu Agency]

Qatar's former Prime Minister, Hamad Bin Jassim Al Thani, yesterday called on the international community to speak directly with the Taliban, and to respect the current situation in Afghanistan, after the movement took control of the country's capital earlier this week, Anadolu reported.

"Now that the Taliban has returned to power victorious after twenty years, we must talk to them directly," Al Thani said in a series of posts on Twitter.

"The world should respect the current situation in Afghanistan, and not take measures to restrict them, as the international community should give them hope that it will accept them and cooperate with them in return for their commitment to international norms," he continued.

Al-Thani noted that there are positive indicators that the movement may have changed its ideology with regards to certain issues like women's rights, minority rights, education and engagement with the international community, but warned that only the coming days will prove how they will deal with these issues.

"The Taliban needs to work on developing the economy and infrastructure, exploiting natural resources, creating job opportunities for the unemployed, and maintaining good relations with its neighbours," he said, stressing that the movement should also not allow any terrorist organisation to operate within its territory.

On Tuesday, the Taliban announced a general amnesty for state employees, called on women to participate in its prospective government, and pledged that Afghan soil would not be a springboard for harming any other country.

READ: The Taliban won legitimacy through armed struggle, now it must earn it through diplomacy

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