Taliban vows formation of inclusive government

TEHRAN, Aug. 17 (MNA) – In a press conference today, the Taliban representatives vowed the formation of an inclusive government.

Taliban vows formation of inclusive government 

In a press conference in Kabul on Tuesday afternoon, Zabihullah Mujahid said Afghanistan is now an independent country after expelling foreign troops. He said that Afghans have the right to be independent.

He declared Afghanistan an Islamic Emirate. He added that "we do not want any external and internal enemies."

A strong Islamic and inclusive government will be formed very soon, according to Mujahid.

Taliban asks US to withdraw its forces from Afghanistan

"They should get their troops out of Afghanistan ... They announced they will withdraw all their forces by September 11, so they should withdraw all their forces but we are committed not to attacking. And we have not attacked it," Shaheen told Sky News.

Dutch send new evacuation plane to Kabul

The Netherlands has sent a second military plane to Afghanistan to help evacuate people from the country, fearing time for the operation is running out, Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag said.

Taliban announces suspension of all flights at Kabul Airport

According to Sky News Arabia, the Taliban announced on 17 August a suspension of all the flights at the Kabul airport.

The Taliban are shooting in the air to disperse crowds at the airport, according to Al-Jazeera, Sputnik reported.

US has to withdraw forces from Afghanistan by Sep 11: Taliban

Russia says Taliban’s initial assurances ‘positive signal’

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the Taliban’s initial assurances since completing their military takeover of Afghanistan over the weekend have been a “positive signal”.

“I consider it a positive signal that the Taliban in Kabul are declaring and in practice showing their readiness to respect the opinion of others,” Lavrov said.

Life back to normal in Herat province

The wali of Herat province said that everything is back to normal in this province and the Taliban group provides security for people.

Everything is back to normal after the arrival of the Taliban in Herat, and the group provided security, Mawlawi Abdul Qayum Rohani, the governor of Herat province of Afghanistan told Fars News on Tuesday.

US has to withdraw forces from Afghanistan by Sep 11: Taliban

Second German evacuation flight lands at Kabul airport

A second German evacuation flight has landed at Kabul airport, German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said.

India evacuates 170 people from Afghanistan

An Indian air force plane has evacuated more than 170 people from Kabul, including India’s ambassador to Afghanistan, a government official says, as diplomats and civilians scramble to leave the country.

The flight landed in the western Indian city of Jamnagar for refuelling on the way to the capital New Delhi, Jamnagar collector Sourabh Pardhi told Reuters news agency.

Germany suspends economic aid to Afghanistan

The German government has suspended economic aid to Afghanistan, the DPA agency reported on Tuesday, citing Economic Development Minister Gerd Muller.

The aid was suspended after the Taliban takeover.

Russian ambassador to Kabul holds meeting with Taliban representative

Russian Ambassador to Afghanistan Dmitry Zhirnov held a meeting with a representative of the Taliban, the embassy told Sputnik on 17 August.

Zhirnov has said that he intends to discuss issues related to the security of the embassy with the Taliban.

Iran embassy in Kabul, consulate general in Herat operating

The spokesman for the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Saeed Khatibzadeh said Tuesday that the Iranian Embassy in Kabul and the Consulate General in Herat are open and operating.

Meanwhile, he said that the number of staff in the Embassy has reduced to a level that the necessary activities of the mission are not disrupted. 

Khatibzadeh had also stated about the Consulate General of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Herat that, "Our diplomats are safe and have no problem traveling to Iran, but for safety reasons, they have preferred to remain in the mission for the time being."

US has to withdraw forces from Afghanistan by Sep 11: Taliban

Taliban urges women to join government

Enamullah Samangani, a member of the Taliban’s cultural commission announced on Tuesday that the Taliban urged women to join its government.

According to Samangani, they don’t want women to be victims. “They [women] should be in government structure according to Shariah law.”

“The structure of government is not fully clear, but based on experience, there should be a fully Islamic leadership and all sides should join," he added.

Taliban issues decree not to enter people’s houses

The head of the Taliban’s Military Commission, Mullah Yaqoob, has issued a voice statement declaring that no one is allowed to enter anyone’s house, especially in the city of Kabul, Al-Jazeera reported.

The statement comes after unconfirmed reports that the group had entered the homes of people in the capital.

The Mayor of Kabul and the acting Minister of Public Health were both among those who returned to their jobs on Tuesday.

Taliban declares ‘amnesty’ for govt. officials

Two days after taking power, in a statement issued on Tuesday, the Taliban declared a general amnesty for all government officials and urged them to return to work.

“A general amnesty has been declared for all… so you should start your routine life with full confidence,” said a statement from the Taliban.

Kabul airport situation stabilising: Raab

The position at Kabul airport is stabilising, Britain’s foreign minister said.

“The position at the airport is stabilising,” Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told Sky News. “The stability at the airport is absolutely key.”

Taliban urges women to join government

Taliban leader reported in Kabul for talks

The Associated Press news agency says senior Taliban leader Amir Khan Muttaqi is in the Afghan capital negotiating with Kabul’s political leadership, including former President Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah, who once headed the country’s negotiating council.

The agency cited an official familiar with the talks and who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

Muttaqi was a higher education minister when the Taliban last ruled and he began making contacts with Afghan political leaders even before Afghan President Ashraf Ghani secretly slipped away from the Presidential Palace on the weekend.

The official says the talks underway in the Afghan capital are aimed at bringing other non-Taliban leaders into the government that Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen has said will be an “inclusive Afghan government”.

Afghans familiar with the talks say some rounds have gone late into the night and have been underway since soon after Ghani’s departure.

Taliban leader reported in Kabul for talks

Indian embassy officials, including ambassador, evacuating Kabul

Indian embassy officials in Kabul, including the ambassador, are being evacuated from the Afghan capital, a spokesperson for the foreign ministry in New Delhi said.

“In view of the prevailing circumstances, it has been decided that our ambassador in Kabul and his Indian staff will move to India immediately,” spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said on Twitter.

Military evacuation flights take off from Kabul

Military flights evacuating diplomats and civilians from Afghanistan started taking off on Tuesday morning, a Western security official at Kabul airport told the Reuters news agency.

The airport runway and tarmac, overrun on Monday by thousands of people desperate to flee from the Afghanistan capital, are now clear of crowds, the official said.

US forces, which are in charge at the airport, had halted the evacuation flights because of the chaos.

Taliban leader reported in Kabul for talks

UN chief urges countries to accept refugees from Afghanistan

UN chief Antonio Guterres is urging all countries to accept Afghan refugees and refrain from deportations.

The world is watching events in the country “with a heavy heart”, he said on Twitter.

“Afghans have known generations of war & hardship. They deserve our full support.”

Taliban leader reported in Kabul for talks

Kabul Airport reopened for evacuation operations

Kabul's airport reopened early Tuesday Afghanistan time after being closed for hours by US forces following a breakdown in security on the tarmac that interrupted evacuation operations, a US general said.

The airport reopened at 1935 GMT Monday, said Major General Hank Taylor, a logistics specialist on the Pentagon's Joint Chiefs of Staff, NDTV reported.

He said a C-17 transport aircraft had landed with US Marines aboard, and a second one loaded with an army unit was to land soon, to help establish security for the airport.

Taylor said the United States was "in charge of air traffic control" at Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) for military and commercial flights.

He added that there were already about 2,500 US troops in Kabul to help organize the evacuation of thousands of Americans and Afghans who worked for them as translators and in other jobs.

By the end of Monday, US time, he said there could be 3,000 to 3,500 on the ground.

"Our focus right now is to maintain security at HKIA, to continue to expedite flight operations while safeguarding Americans and Afghan civilians," he said.

The airport was shut down Monday after crowds of civilians surged onto the runways, the Pentagon said.

Videos taken from the airport showed hundreds of Afghans flooding onto the runways and trying to impede the takeoff of one of the US transports.

Several people were killed as the US military opened fire on Afghans at the Kabul airport, a source in the security forces told Sputnik on 16 August.

Agence France-Presse reported earlier, citing an eyewitness, that the US military fired warning shots to push crowds back from the runway.

According to the Wall Street Journal, three people have been shot dead in the shootings. 

German military transport plane lands in Kabul for evacuation

A German Air Force A400M transport aircraft has landed in Kabul to begin the evacuation of German citizens from Afghanistan, security sources tell the DPA news agency.

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