Taliban declare war in Afghanistan over, call for peaceful relations with world

KABUL (Reuters): The spokesperson for the Afghan Taliban on Monday declared that the war in the country is over, saying that the group desires peaceful relations with the world.

The statement comes a day after the Afghan Taliban entered Kabul as President Ashraf Ghani left the country, saying he wanted avoid bloodshed and conflict.

The group respected women’s and minorities’ rights and freedom of expression within Sharia law, Spokesperson Mohammad Naeem added.

Naeem said the Taliban wanted to have peaceful relations and was keen to develop several channels of communication it had already opened with foreign countries.

“We ask all countries and entities to sit with us to settle any issues”, he said in an interview with Al Jazeera TV.

Two decades ago, the George Bush administration overthrew the Taliban from power in Afghanistan.

Naeem said that no diplomatic body or headquarters was targeted in the Taliban’s approach and the group would provide safety for citizens and diplomatic missions.

Ghani’s escape was unexpected and “even those close to him did not expect it,” Naeem said.

“We are ready to have a dialogue with all Afghan figures and will guarantee them the necessary protection,” he told Al Jazeera Mubasher TV.

The Taliban was seeing the fruits of its efforts and sacrifices for 20 years, he said, and would adopt a policy of non-interference in others’ affairs in return for non-interference in Afghanistan.

“We have reached what we were seeking, which is the freedom of our country and the independence of our people,” he said. “We will not allow anyone to use our lands to target anyone, and we do not want to harm others.”

“We do not think that foreign forces will repeat their failed experience in Afghanistan once again.”

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