ISLAMABAD: Afghanistan’s interim Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said on Sunday that the Afghan Taliban would not allow the Daesh militant group to gain a “foothold” in the country or allow any terror outfits to use Afghan soil against other nations.
Muttaqi spoke to Arab News in an interview on the sidelines of an Organization of Islamic Corporation summit held in Islamabad on Sunday to help Afghanistan, which is facing a looming economic meltdown and humanitarian catastrophe.
“We have controlled Daesh in the whole of Afghanistan and haven’t permitted anyone to use our land against any other country,” Muttaqi said. “It is our promise to the whole world that Afghan soil will not be used against anyone. We will not allow it.
“We will not let Daesh or any other group establish a foothold in Afghanistan as the Afghan people want peace,” he added.
Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, earlier said during Sunday's gathering that Afghanistan must not turn into a shelter for terrorist and extremist groups.
The humanitarian crisis since the Taliban seized power in August could compromise regional stability, Prince Faisal warned.
He said Saudi Arabia would begin transporting humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, and he hoped mechanisms could be created to deliver it to the Afghan people.
Afghanistan, which is also suffering from a banking liquidity crisis as the cash flow dries up due to sanctions, is facing the risk of economic collapse since the Taliban took over.
But Muttaqi said there was now peace in Afghanistan and the government was strong and stable: “The people are happy,” he insisted.
Afghanistan parked billions of dollars in assets overseas with the US Federal Reserve and other central banks in Europe, but that money has been frozen since the Taliban ousted the Western-backed government in August.
Muttaqi pressed for the release of the billions of dollars of central bank reserves as the drought-stricken nation faces a cash crunch, mass starvation and a new migration crisis.
“The financial assets of Afghanistan belong to the Afghan people, it is not our (Taliban’s) money,” the foreign minister said, urging the US and other Western nations to allow access to the funds.
“Why have they frozen those assets and created problems for the Afghan people? Not even one Afghan person who is working abroad can send their hard-earned money back to their country. Is this an example of respect for human rights?”