Qatar says recognizing Taliban not a priority, warns against isolating group

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Qatar’s Foreign Minister said on Tuesday recognizing the Taliban’s government was not a priority but warned against isolating the group currently controlling Afghanistan.

No country has recognized the Taliban as a government of Afghanistan after their seizure of the country on August 15.

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The White House has denied last week any chance of rushing to recognize the legitimacy of the Taliban government by the US or its allies. The last of the US troops and officials have left the country on Monday, ending over 20 years of American presence in Afghanistan.

Qatar’s Foreign Minister said: “We believe that without engagement we cannot reach...real progress on the security front or on the socioeconomic front.”

“If we are starting to put conditions and stopping this engagement, we are going to leave a vacuum, and the question is, who is going to fill this vacuum?,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said.

He spoke about Doha’s recent talks with the Taliban: “During our talks with the Taliban, there was no positive or negative response,” adding that he urged the group to cooperate in the fight against Terrorism.

“We stressed the importance of cooperation to combat terrorism... and we stressed the importance of the Taliban to cooperate in this field.”

The Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Reuters on Saturday that the group will announce a complete cabinet within a week, and it will include not just ministers but leaders as well.

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