Taliban spokesman:

‘Saudi Arabia, Taliban like brothers’

News ID: 4088404 -
TEHRAN, Sep. 16 (MNA) – Taliban spokesman Zabihollah Mojahed said Saudi Arabia was like a brother to the Taliban militants.

In an Interview with the International Desk of Mehr News Agency (MNA), Mojahed shared his views on political issues in Afghanistan as well as position of the Taliban insurgent group in the country.

When asked whether the time was ripe to put an end to ongoing wars in Afghanistan to prevent more bloodshed, the official said “people of Afghanistan are bound to fights since war, rather than being their own choice, has been imposed upon them by foreigners. Afghan people has suffered most from miseries of war. The battle, more than being a means of satisfying personal interests, remains a responsibility and a duty.”

“Aliens and outsiders, upon intruding any country, will be naturally confronted with as proved by history,” highlighted Taliban spokesman adding that nations of the world are aware that people will fight against foreign military forces in their country in order to regain their freedom and solidarity.

In response to another question on nature of ties between Taliban and Saudi Arabia, especially given that Saudis, as an ally of the US, support the militant group who, in turn, claims to be in fight with the US, Zabihollah Mojahed said “we comment on the issue as far as it is related to us since the Taliban possess their own specific strategy in relation to Islamic countries.”

“We never intend to oppose or disagree with any Islamic country, either with a country like Saudi Arabia or other Muslim countries of the region or beyond, because we believe that Muslims are our brothers and we want the Islamic world to move towards unity, not towards war and displacement,” he continued.

He explained that some issues pertain to internal affair of countries and never seek conflicts with any Islamic country; rather, we are after a kind coexistence among Muslims in order to thwart conspiracies hatched by Americans and occupiers.

He was later asked to explain the reason for unchanging policy of Taliban towards Saudi Arabia even though they join hands with the US in the fight against terrorism. In response, the official said “we must make it clear that we are not a terrorist power.”

“The US claims Russia’s close ties to the Taliban; assuming authenticity of the issue, is it possible to unite these two against the United States in Afghanistan,” asked the official underlining that Taliban would take advantage of any initiative that helps liberate Afghanistan.

“We explicitly state that we will use all positive options for independence of our country,” reiterated the Taliban spokesman.

In reaction to recent statements of President Trump who declared US strategy in Afghanistan and called Pakistan a ‘supporter of terrorism’ by taking a tougher stance toward Islamabad, Zabihollah Mojahed said “Trump’s remarks against Pakistan aim at pleasing India and intend to destabilize the region. Despite tensions between Pakistan and India, Trump threatens Pakistan to bring itself closer to the Indian government; Because Pakistan is an atomic force in the region and Americans are after its breakdown.”

“America’s threats are of no value to the Taliban since all US threats are doomed to fail,” he emphasized.

On Taliban’s solution to end the war and settle peace, the official said Americans are the ones who can answer how long the battle with linger since they have invaded our country and we are merely standing against intruders.

“All we ask is for occupying forces and foreign troops to leave our country since Afghanistan belongs to us,” he maintained.

Interview by Javad Mohammadi

HA/4083881

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