Taliban Foreign Minister: We are ready to work with the US, but sanctions must be lifted

In a recent article published by Al Jazeera on Thursday, Amir Khan Muttaqi, the Taliban’s Foreign Minister, wrote about the group’s readiness for collaboration with the United States, if the sanctions against the group are lifted. 

Muttaqi wrote “the Taliban understand that the globalized nature of modern relations means that all state actors must learn to live in harmony and peace with one another. Such relations should be founded on the immutable principles of equality, mutual respect and cooperation through the pursuit of shared interests.” 

“Bearing this in mind, the current government of Afghanistan once again extends its hand of positive engagement to the world,” he added. 

Despite the Taliban’s control over Afghanistan for over a year and a half, no country has officially recognized the group as the legitimate government of Afghanistan. However, certain regional countries have acknowledged Taliban diplomats.

In the article, the Taliban’s foreign minister stresses the unique opportunity for Afghanistan to emerge as a responsible and independent member of the international community, while highlighting that “the international community should also reciprocate by welcoming Afghanistan into its fold while paying respect to its independence and assisting it to stand on its feet.”

In what seems to be a statement on the Taliban’s globally criticized ban on women’s education, Muttaqi says “as for our internal affairs, which have at times been misconceived or misconstrued, there remains the need to dispel misinformation and depict an accurate picture of the values and needs of Afghanistan. The religious and cultural sensibilities of our society require a cautious approach. Any government that has not maintained the proper equilibrium, pertaining to such sensibilities, has ultimately faced serious difficulties. This is a lesson that our recent history has emphasized over and over again.”

While some Taliban officials say that educating girls is a foreign culture, critics argue that the ban is not a reflection of values and culture of Afghanistan people. 

Taliban’s Minister of Foreign Affairs wrote that the group believe in dialogue and an exchange of ideas, in an atmosphere free from political or economic pressures, and aimed at finding practical solutions and dispelling misunderstandings. “We remind the US and others that sanctions and pressures do not resolve differences. Only mutual trust does,” 

While the Taliban is emphasizing on interaction with the world, the group’s key opponents on Sunday called on international community to put more pressure on Taliban to accept negotiations, otherwise, they warned of promoting and expanding a systematic nationwide resistance against the group’s rule all over Afghanistan.