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Taliban insists on withdrawal of all foreign forces from Afghanistan

A Taliban spokesperson told Rudaw on Friday that the group wants all foreign forces out of the country except for diplomatic missions, adding that they seek good relations with all nations.

“The issue of foreign forces and their withdrawal has already been finalized. As per our agreement [with the US], all forces have to withdraw except for diplomatic missions. This issue has been finalized. Anyone who wants to stay in our country, we will definitely see them as invaders. They should not stay here with a military force. However, we will have good relations with all of them,” Mohammed Naeem, spokesperson for Taliban’s politburo, told Rudaw.

This comes as the US is preparing to withdraw its forces from the country and Turkey has offered to secure Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.

The Taliban, which calls itself “the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” has stated that it will not tolerate foreign forces other than consulates and embassies. It said in a statement on Tuesday that non-military foreigners and diplomatic missions will face no issues and “may continue their diplomatic work and humanitarian activities per normal routine.”

A peace agreement between the Taliban and the US announced on February 29, 2020, included “Guarantees and enforcement mechanisms that will prevent the use of the soil of Afghanistan by any group or individual against the security of the United States and its allies.”

The agreement also guaranteed “a complete withdrawal of foreign forces and a timeline in the presence of international witnesses,” adding that intra-Afghan negotiations should begin next month.

“We expect them not to keep any troops but if they do it, will be an issue,” Naeem said.

Regarding reports that the Taliban receives weapons from Iran, which it has good relations with, the spokesperson said “this is only propaganda and baseless,” adding that they only use light weapons. “They do not have tanks or planes.”

“Everyone can acquire these weapons and we have not received any new weapons,” he said.

Source: Rozhan Abubakir – RUDAW