Afghanistan must establish ‘normal relations’ with other nations: former Afghan president

Afghanistan must “build normal relations” with other countries, former Afghan President Hamid Karzai said in an interview with Al Arabiya, adding that interaction with “other Muslim countries” was crucial.

“It is important for Afghanistan to establish normal relations with countries around the world. We are a member of the international community. We cannot live apart from them. We must live with them for our well-being and prosperity. Therefore, Afghanistan’s interaction with the international community, with our Muslim brothers, with Arab countries, is extremely important,” the former president said.

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“We must provide all the necessary conditions that will lead to such a relationship.”

He stressed the need to present Afghanistan as a country with which other nations can work, which “is not a challenge for anyone, but an opportunity for the rest of the world”, which “obeys the laws of the community international”.

Karzai ruled the country from 2002 until 2014 when he was replaced by Ashraf Ghani.

US took $7 billion from Afghan reserves

When asked if the country would have been better off if Ashraf Ghani – the country’s president at the time of the Taliban takeover last year – had not left Afghanistan, Karzai told Al Arabiya that he “believed in it very firmly”.

“His departure from the country led to the collapse of the state in Afghanistan. The army disappeared, the police disappeared, the institutions collapsed. And it also gave an opportunity for other governments and countries to deal with us the way they want to deal with us,” he said, adding that Afghanistan had lost its national reserves of more than $7 billion. .

“The United States took this money from us. It is the property of the Afghan people. It was not the property of any government.

“Immense respect” for Saudi Arabia

“Saudi Arabia is a country that is viewed with immense respect in Afghanistan. It is a brotherly country, a country that was kind to us during my tenure,” the former president said.

Karzai added that the Saudi government and royal family have long been “kind and generous” to the war-torn country.

“He is [a] relationship that we value immensely and look forward to further and greater expansion,” he said.

“And we thank the Saudi people for their help in Afghanistan and for always thinking of us.”

Karzai discusses issues with the Taliban

The Taliban took power last August and have since been trying to present their vision of an extremist country ruled by their interpretation of Sharia. Since their return to power after the failure of the United States’ attempt to push back its influence in the country, the Taliban’s harsh policies have imposed severe restrictions on Afghans, especially women.

Karzai said he had not experienced any harassment since the Taliban took over and had regular meetings with them.

“We meet them [the Taliban], they visit us. We talk about the issues,” he said.

“The talks are ongoing, the commitments are there. We hope that two things will happen at the same time, that there will be an internal mechanism within Afghanistan where all Afghans will come together and move forward towards a future where we all ensure that we have order in the country that is considered as a representative of all Afghans,” he continued.

“And at the same time, we see the international community recognizing Afghanistan, where the two have combined internal brotherhood and unity and order and external representation and recognition will lead Afghanistan to progress and stability. Both are absolutely necessary, rather imperative for our country to progress, for our country to do better economically… and for our stability too.

He noted that ISIS and al-Qaeda were still a problem for the country and the international community, adding that extremism needed to be addressed, a problem the Taliban interim government recognizes.

“[ISIS] is a problem now for Afghanistan. Al-Qaeda was a problem for Afghanistan, probably still is, so we in the Muslim world need to be acutely aware of the dangers that extremism can pose to the country,” he said, referring to the increase in suicide bombers who have blown up mosques and killed several people in the country over the past six months.

“It is a problem that comes to us from outside, from abroad,” he added, saying that the Muslim world must first address it among themselves and then work on policies with the community. international community, particularly the West, to eradicate extremism and its use. “as a tool for politics in pursuit of their interests.”

The former president has said he has no intention of leading the country again, saying he has ‘served’ his time as president and ‘will not return to power in any form. “.

“I will remain a citizen of this country and I will work for the welfare of Afghanistan as a citizen of this country.”

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