Blinken Says Taliban Takeover Would Make Afghanistan a 'Pariah State'
15:40 GMT 23.07.2021 (Updated: 22:18 GMT 23.07.2021)
© REUTERS / STRINGERPeople on vehicles, holding Taliban flags, gather near the Friendship Gate crossing point in the Pakistan-Afghanistan border town of Chaman, Pakistan July 14, 2021
© REUTERS / STRINGER
The group previously claimed to have taken approximately 90% of Afghanistan's border under its control - an allegation Kabul rejected as an "absolute lie".
Afghanistan will become a "pariah state" if the Taliban* forcefully seizes power in the country, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told MSNBC.
Should the Taliban take over the country, Afghanistan will not receive the support from the international community it's hoping for, Blinken added.
"We do have deep concerns about the actions the Taliban is taking indicating that it may be trying to take the country by force, but were that to happen, Afghanistan would be a pariah state", Blinken said. "It would not get the assistance that it’s looking for and the Taliban says it wants - if it has any responsibility for the country. It would not get the support from the international community that it says it wants".
The top diplomat noted that Washington does not believe in a military solution for Afghanistan, but the United States is working out a way to put an end to the 40-year-long conflict.
"We’re sustaining our support through our embassy, through other embassies for the Afghan people, and at the same time we’re working to make good on our commitment to those who helped us and put their lives on the line - interpreters, translators - they’re benefiting from a program called Special Immigrant Visa programs that allow them to seek visas to come to the United States", he said. "We are moving very, very rapidly ahead with that program".
© REUTERS / DANISH SIDDIQUIA member of Afghan Special Forces fires at Taliban after coming under heavy fire during the rescue mission of a police officer besieged at a check post, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, July 13, 2021.
A member of Afghan Special Forces fires at Taliban after coming under heavy fire during the rescue mission of a police officer besieged at a check post, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, July 13, 2021.
© REUTERS / DANISH SIDDIQUI
Afghanistan is witnessing a spike in violence as international troops withdraw from the country. The Taliban has since launched an offensive and overrun large swathes of land.
Taliban representative Zabiullah Mujahid on Thursday asserted that the movement currently controls approximately 90% of Afghanistan’s border.
Afghan Defence Ministry spokesman Fawad Aman rejected the claim as an "absolute lie" and "baseless propaganda".
*Taliban, a terrorist group banned in Russia