Taliban willing to develop strong relations with Turkey

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KABUL: The deputy foreign minister of the Taliban’s interim government in Afghanistan said Tuesday they are willing to develop strong relations with Turkey.

Speaking at his first press conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the capital Kabul, Amir Khan Muttaqi said the Taliban also want to establish good relations with other countries.

Noting they are in contact with Turkish authorities, Muttaqi said they expect Turkey to stand by the people of Afghanistan and help with the country’s infrastructure work, especially the rebuilding of Kabul airport

Referring to a meeting in Geneva on the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, Muttaqi said he appreciated the pledge of more than $1.1 billion in donations to Afghanistan at the conference.

He emphasized that the Taliban will cooperate with donor countries and this aid will be distributed in a transparent manner.

He also called on the Asian Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank to help in Afghanistan’s development. He noted that the blocking of Afghan money by the US was an act of brutality and added that humanitarian issues should not be mixed with politics.

Muttaqi said the Taliban will increase investment opportunities in Afghanistan in order to improve the country’s economic situation.