Taliban react to Ankara meeting: Afghanistan is safe and no one is allowed to fight

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In response to the meeting in Ankara of dozens of senior political figures at the residence of Field Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said that Afghanistan is now safe and that war would not be allowed if someone wanted it.

On Thursday, May 19, the Taliban spokesperson stressed that anyone with the intention of waging war will not be allowed to enter, but if anyone is trying to improve security and stability in the country, the Taliban will not oppose it.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday evening May 17, some 40 prominent Afghan politicians and influential party leaders gathered at Field Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum’s home in the Turkish capital, Ankara, to discuss the current situation in Afghanistan.

The formation of the Supreme National Resistance Council for the Salvation of Afghanistan and support for the war against the Taliban in Panjshir and Baghlan have been making headlines since the Ankara meeting.

Although senior officials at the Ankara meeting did not formally confirm the latter (support for the war against the Taliban), one member revealed to Voice of America, anonymously, that party leaders and politicians invited to the event had supported the fight against the Taliban.

Members of the Ankara meeting adopted a statement at the end of the seven-hour discussion, urging the Taliban to refrain from further devastation in Afghanistan and negotiate a settlement.

The Supreme National Resistance Council for the Salvation of Afghanistan is trying to build an inclusive government based on negotiation principles, but if that fails, it will pursue a second alternative, which is war and armed confrontation with the Taliban, depending on the resolution.

Zabihullah Mujahid, in response to the resolution of the Ankara meeting, said that the Taliban had opened the door to reconciliation, and hope it will be effective, as a commission has recently started dialogue with politicians and other people who have left Afghanistan.

Another Taliban commission, the Commission on Return and Communications with Former Afghan Officials and Politicians, operates. Anas Haqqani, a member of the commission, had previously claimed that the Taliban had returned to Afghanistan with around 50 political figures, including former government ministers.

However, political experts believe the Taliban can only engage with prominent politicians if they show flexibility.

A political expert, Assadullah Zaeri, told the media that the Taliban must first adopt a more logical and rational position before engaging in negotiations to solve their problems.

However, based on the conduct of the Taliban over the past nine months, experts believe they have broken virtually every promise they have made, making it more difficult to begin negotiations.

For the past nine months, the Taliban have banned girls from going to school. Numerous restrictions on the imposition of the hijab, as well as a travel ban for women, are among the concerns that could affect the start of negotiations.

Despite their commitment to human rights, the Taliban have denied women’s social and professional freedoms, and former soldiers and journalists have been detained, tortured and killed despite the Taliban’s promise of amnesty.

All these concerns related to the nine-month activity of the Taliban, according to experts, make it impossible to open negotiations with the participants of the Ankara-Taliban meeting.

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