Amir Khan Muttaqi, the regime’s acting foreign minister, says donor money would be spent wisely a day after the UN said $1.2 billion in aid had been pledged to Afghanistan.

A Taliban fighter stands guard at a checkpoint along a road in Kabul on September 14, 2021.
A Taliban fighter stands guard at a checkpoint along a road in Kabul on September 14, 2021. (AFP)

The Taliban has thanked the world for pledging hundreds of millions of dollars in emergency aid to Afghanistan, and urged the United States to show "heart" in future dealings.

In his first press conference since the Taliban formed an interim government a week ago, Amir Khan Muttaqi, the acting foreign minister, told a press conference that the Taliban would spend donor money wisely and use it to alleviate poverty.

He was speaking a day after the United Nations said a total of $1.2 billion in aid had been pledged to Afghanistan, which was taken over by the Taliban on August 15.

"The Islamic Emirate will try its best to deliver this aid to the needy people in a completely transparent manner," Muttaqi said.

He also asked Washington to show appreciation for the Taliban allowing the US to complete a troop withdrawal and evacuation of more than 120,000 people last month.

"America is a big country, they need to have a big heart," he said.

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EU says no other option but to talk

The European Union has no option but to talk to the Taliban in Afghanistan, the bloc's top diplomat said on Tuesday, adding that Brussels would seek to coordinate with EU governments to organise a diplomatic presence in Kabul.

"The Afghan crisis is not over," EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told the European Parliament in Strasbourg. "To have any chance of influencing events, we have no other option but to engage with the Taliban," Borrell said, adding that the EU would stress the importance of human rights.

"Maybe it's a pure oxymoron to talk about human rights but this is what we have to ask them," he said. 

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Taliban says won't allow militant attacks

Muttaqi said the government remains committed to its promises not to allow militants to use its territory to attack others. 

He would not give a timeframe for how long the government would be in place or whether it would eventually be opened up to other factions, minorities or women.

When asked about the possibility of elections, Muttaqi demanded other countries not interfere in Afghanistan’s internal issues.

Under a deal reached last year with the United States, the Taliban promised to break ties with Al Qaeda and other militant groups and ensure they don’t threaten other countries from its territory.

Asked about the deal, Muttaqi replied, “We will not allow anyone or any groups to use our soil against any other countries” — the first time a member of the government has confirmed its commitment to the promise.

Source: AFP