Taliban Declare 'End to War That Erupted 20 Years Ago' in Afghanistan
22:12 GMT 15.08.2021 (Updated: 15:33 GMT 17.08.2021)
© AP Photo / Zabi KarimiTaliban fighters take control of Afghan presidential palace after the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021.
© AP Photo / Zabi Karimi
Earlier, according to reports, the Taliban* took over the state television station in Kabul, calling on citizens to remain calm. The movement earlier asserted that it had established control over the Afghan capital, with videos surfacing online showing the militants in the presidential palace.
A spokesman for the Taliban's political office, Mohammad Naeem, speaking to Al-Jazeera, declared that the war in Afghanistan is over.
Naeem argued that the Taliban " put an end to this war that erupted in our country 20 years ago".
"We are ready to have a dialogue with all Afghan figures and will guarantee them the necessary protection", Naeem told the channel. "We do not think that foreign forces will repeat their failed experience in Afghanistan once again."
The spokesman also underlined that the Taliban will not "allow anyone to use our lands to target anyone" and said that the group does "not want to harm others".
"We have reached what we were seeking, which is the freedom of our country and the independence of our people", he said.
As the Taliban claimed control over the Afghan capital, several countries evacuated diplomatic personnel from the country, and crowds of people flocked to the Kabul airport in an attempt to leave Afghanistan.
Naeem stated that all embassies and foreign diplomatic missions are safe in Kabul, urging "everyone" in the city to remain "in complete confidence".
"We assure all embassies, diplomatic missions, institutions, and residences of foreign nationals in Kabul that there is no danger to them. Everyone in Kabul must be in complete confidence, and the forces of the Islamic Emirate are tasked with maintaining security in Kabul and other cities in the country", his tweet reads.
نؤكد لجميع السفارات والبعثات الدبلوماسية والمؤسسات ومساكن الرعايا الأجانب في كابول أنه لا يوجد خطر عليهم. يجب أن يكون الجميع في كابول بثقة تامة ، وقوات الإمارة الإسلامية مكلفة بالحفاظ على الأمن في كابول ومدن أخرى في البلاد— Dr.M.Naeem (@IeaOffice) August 15, 2021
The Taliban entered Kabul on Sunday, with the Afghan president, Ashraf Ghani, fleeing the country shortly thereafter, reportedly heading to Tashkent. Ghani said he did so in order to avoid bloodshed, also announcing his resignation.
According to Ghani, the militant group may have won the "trial of sword and guns", but is yet to win the hearts of the Afghan people.
"Never in history has raw power given legitimacy to anyone and never will. [The Taliban] are now facing a new historic test: either they will protect the name and honour of Afghanistan or they will prioritise other places and networks", Ghani posted in Facebook.
* The Taliban - a terrorist organisation banned in Russia and many other countries