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Taliban say want 'good relations' with West
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 20 - 08 - 2021

The Taliban said they want "good relations" with the rest of the world and will not allow Afghanistan to be a base for attacks.
Spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said on Thursday: "We want good relations, we want a good economy, we want good trading, we want good diplomacy, but in return we want our values to be respected.
He also said the militant group will not tolerate any threat to its "principles" and "independence" and that if anyone "threatens our country's independence or attacks us, without doubt we will react."
Meanwhile, Amnesty says Taliban, amid this scenario, killed nine minority men. The human rights NGO said on Friday that the Taliban were responsible for the torture and killing of several members of Afghanistan's Hazara ethnic minority last month.
It said its researchers spoke to eyewitnesses in Ghazni province who recounted how the Taliban shot six of the men and tortured the three others to death in the village of Mundarakht on July 4-6.
"The cold-blooded brutality of these killings is a reminder of the Taliban's past record, and a horrifying indicator of what Taliban rule may bring," said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International's secretary-general said in a statement.
"These targeted killings are proof that ethnic and religious minorities remain at particular risk under Taliban rule in Afghanistan.
"We urge the UN Security Council to adopt an emergency resolution demanding that the Taliban respect international human rights law, and ensure the safety of all Afghans regardless of their ethnic background or religious beliefs," she added.
In another development, a plane with people who have been evacuated from Afghanistan landed Friday at the Oslo airport in Norway.
Norway's Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide told Norwegian news agency NTB that onboard were citizens from the Scandinavian country, family members to local employees and "some other European citizens."
Soereide didn't give any figures or elaborate. Among the group were reporters for Norway's TV2 and NRK television channels. On Wednesday, a plane with 13 Norwegian citizens, mostly diplomats, arrived in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Also European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen and Council President Charles Michel on Saturday will visit a Spanish military airport being used as a hub to receive Afghans flown out of Kabul before they are distributed to other countries in the bloc. This was announced by Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares.
Spain is receiving evacuated Afghans who have worked for EU bodies or EU member nations. The evacuees are expected to spend several days at the camp for health and security screening before moving to reception centers ahead of their journeys to other European countries.
The French Foreign Ministry said on Thursday evening that it had evacuated about 500 of its nationals, Afghans and other citizens since Aug. 16. The country had already evacuated 600 Afghan staff and their families between May and July.
And, the German Defense Ministry said on Friday morning that it has so far evacuated "more than 1,600 people from Kabul on 11 flights."
"And we continue to fly today," it added. — Euronews

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