Amir Khan Muttaqi, the acting foreign minister of Afghanistan, speaks during a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan on 14 September 2021 (Photo credit: European Press Photo Agency)
On 19 December, Amir Khan Muttaqi, the acting foreign minister of Afghanistan condemned the continued isolation of the Taliban government by western governments.
Speaking during an interview in Pakistan where he is attending the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers meeting, Muttaqi said the isolation of Afghanistan is not in the interest of the Afghan people or their welfare.
He pointed out that there is no justification for any country to sever ties with Afghanistan, as the Taliban government has addressed all concerns raised by western countries, such as the protection of human rights and women’s rights.
Muttaqi also said the Taliban government has made it very clear it will not allow any group or nation to use its territory as a staging ground for attacks on another country.
”We assure the whole world, especially Muslims countries, that the lands of Afghanistan will never again be used against anyone, and that we will work together to combat drug cultivation and trafficking,” Muttaqi declared.
He also lamented the fact that despite all the assurances of the Afghan government and the decisions taken by it so far, the west has remained hostile towards Afghanistan.
Muttaqi appealed to Islamic countries to consider investing in Afghanistan to help revitalize its economy, and made assurances that the government will provide all the facilities needed to support the business community.
He then strongly denounced the sanctions imposed on Afghanistan, saying these sanctions have severely affected the Afghan economy, making it difficult for the government to provide the necessary goods and services to its citizens.
The US and other western governments imposed sanctions on Afghanistan following the Taliban’s return to power on 15 August. They also froze all Afghan funds held in foreign banks.
The actions of the west and the US have paralysed the economy of Afghanistan, which was already in freefall due to two decades of US occupation and conflict, and a drought that has affected most parts of the country for the past three years.
The UN has warned that if sanctions are not lifted, the GDP of Afghanistan could contract by up to 25 percent before the end of 2022.