‘There is ‘special place for Merkel’ in Afghanistan’ – Taliban says

0
40

The Taliban want Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel to visit Afghanistan, saying there is a “special place” for her in the country.

In an interview published by German newspaper Bild on Monday, Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said the group would “really welcome” Merkel in Afghanistan.

“We want to have a powerful and fully secured environment here in Afghanistan – which will be accepted by all the countries in the world, and in which the leaders of the world will believe in. They should come and visit our country, and there will certainly be a special place for Angela Merkel,” he said.

The Taliban official stressed that strong relations with Germany were in Afghanistan’s interest.

“We, first of all, want a good relationship with Germany. The Islamic Emirate (Taliban government) will be the desired government of the Afghans, and we want the German government to have the best possible diplomatic relationship with the new government,” Mujahid said.

“Secondly, we want Germany to support and help us in humanitarian sectors that can be supported by the German government. Moreover, we need them to help us in the health sector, we need them to help us in the education sector and we need them to help us in the infrastructure sector. We believe that the German government can really help us,” he added.

While Berlin has yet to recognize the new Afghan government, it has expressed willingness to provide humanitarian aid to the war-ravaged country.

Germany has shut down its embassy in Kabul since the Taliban takeover Aug. 15 and relocated Ambassador Markus Potzel to Qatar’s capital Doha.

However, the Merkel government has maintained diplomatic contact with the Taliban.

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas recently said Germany could reopen its Kabul mission “if it were politically possible and if the security situation permits.”

Merkel’s government has been primarily focused on evacuating more eligible Afghans from the country, where thousands of locals who worked for German ministries and political institutions are hoping for a way out.