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We want the Japanese to stay, says Taliban spokesperson

Photos:  (Courtesy of FNN /screen grab)
Photos: (Courtesy of FNN /screen grab)
Photos:  (Courtesy of FNN /screen grab)
Photos: (Courtesy of FNN /screen grab)
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27 Aug 2021 12:08:58 GMT9
27 Aug 2021 12:08:58 GMT9

Arab News Japan

TOKYO: The Taliban has called for cooperation from Japan, saying that it “needs Japanese people,” while at the same time calling on Japan’s Self-Defense Forces to withdraw from Afghanistan early.

The Taliban now appears to be in control of most of Afghanistan and reports suggest that it wants to put on a more “moderate” face than during its previous governing of the country. Rather than confront the West and other countries, it seeks dialogue and is hoping for a working relationship.

Such hopes may depend on how the Taliban governs the Afghan people, many of whom remember the strict interpretation of Islam that it enforced 20 years ago.

Now, it says it wants to do business with the West, which includes Japan.

“We don’t want the Japanese to leave Afghanistan, but we want the Self-Defense Forces to leave,” a Taliban spokesman Zabihallah Mujahideen, told Japan’s FNN network in an interview, promising, “We will protect the Japanese people in Afghanistan.”

Analysts say that Afghanistan desperately needs money to finance projects and feed its people. That can only come from assistance from richer countries such as Japan.

The Taliban spokesman told FNN that he doesn’t want the ordinary Japanese people in Afghanistan to evacuate. “We want to have good, friendly diplomatic relations with Japan,” he said.

However, he added: “The presence of the Japanese military is not desirable.” He called on the Self-Defense Forces, dispatched by Japan to support the evacuation process, to leave as soon as possible.

It was reported that an SDF government aircraft, which the Japanese government had previously decided to dispatch in addition to the personnel already there, has returned to a base in Hokkaido from Aichi Prefecture in central Japan.

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