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Ahmad Massoud: The Taliban cannot be tamed with ‘money and diplomatic ties’

Ahmad Massoud, the leader of the armed anti-Taliban group, the National Resistance Front (NRF), has pleaded with the international community not to abandon Afghanistan .

In an interview with The National in Vienna, where he attended a conference of anti-Taliban figures and activists, Massoud warned against engagement with the Taliban. He said: “If you think you can co-opt the Taliban with money and diplomatic ties, then you are gravely mistaken.”

Massoud claimed that the NRF is a diverse coalition of Afghans who represent a more palatable alternative government. He said that the group is committed to democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.

“We want freedom, liberty, democracy, and we want justice,” he said.

Massoud said that the NRF is not asking for the West to send troops to Afghanistan, but he said that the group needs financial and military support. He said that the West also needs to put pressure on the Taliban to respect human rights and to allow the Afghan people to choose their own future.

“We must not abandon Afghanistan,” Massoud said. “The country is at a crossroads, and it is up to the international community to decide whether it will go down the path of democracy and freedom, or whether it will be ruled by a brutal and repressive regime.”