- Title: 'We urge Americans not to encourage Afghans to leave' - Taliban spokesman
- Date: 24th August 2021
- Summary: KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (AUGUST 24, 2021) (REUTERS) TALIBAN SPOKESMAN, ZABIHULLAH MUJAHID AND OTHER TALIBAN MEMBERS ARRIVING AT PRESS CONFERENCE AND TAKING THEIR SEATS VARIOUS OF JOURNALISTS AT PRESS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Pashto) TALIBAN SPOKESMAN, ZABIHULLAH MUJAHID, SAYING: "Again, unfortunately, the United States continues its past policy of inviting Afghans to board planes, and evacuating them from the country for an unknown purpose. This is worrying, and in this regard, we urge the Americans to change their policy and not encourage Afghans to leave their country. Our elite people, like the engineers and doctors who studied here, and the country needs these talents, they should not be transferred to other countries." VARIOUS OF PRESS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (Pashto) TALIBAN SPOKESMAN, ZABIHULLAH MUJAHID, SAYING: "Unfortunately, this problem has not been resolved yet, the Islamic Emirate is seriously trying to control the situation there, we have blocked the way that people go to the airport by it. Afghans are not allowed to use this road and foreign nationals can use it, but domestic nationals cannot go this way because it is blocked." VARIOUS OF PRESS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (Pashto) TALIBAN SPOKESMAN, ZABIHULLAH MUJAHID, SAYING: "Unfortunately, when the crowds increase, the Americans shoot and brutally shell the people. The Islamic Emirate is trying to reduce the crowds, and I once again assure the people who have gathered there that they can return to their homes and live a peaceful life. We assure people that there is no danger to anyone." VARIOUS OF PRESS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (Dari) TALIBAN SPOKESMAN, ZABIHULLAH MUJAHID, SAYING: "The Central Bank is an important economic institution to which all banking and commercial activities are related. This institution has been allowed to resume its activities. All other banks will continue to open from today or tomorrow." PRESS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS ZABIHULLAH MUJAHID THANKING ATTENDEES AND GETTING UP TO LEAVE MUJAHID LEAVING WITH OFFICIAL VARIOUS OF CARS AND PEOPLE OUTSIDE THE PRESS CONFERENCE BUILDING THE TALIBAN FLAG FLYING ABOVE BUILDING
- Embargoed: 7th September 2021 22:42
- Keywords: Kabul Taliban Zabihullah Mujahid evacuation
- Location: KABUL, AFGHANISTAN
- City: KABUL, AFGHANISTAN
- Country: Afghanistan
- Topics: Asia / Pacific,Conflicts/War/Peace
- Reuters ID: LVA001ERN4QX3
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:The Taliban expect foreign evacuations from Kabul to be completed by the end of the month, the Islamist group's main spokesman said on Tuesday (August 24), urging Afghans to stay to help rebuild their country.
In a press conference that continued the conciliatory messaging put out by the movement since its lightning seizure of Kabul on Aug. 15, Zabihullah Mujahid said the focus was on clearing up and improving security.
He said the movement had not agreed to an extension of the Aug. 31 deadline set by the United States to pull out of Afghanistan and wanted all evacuations to end by that date.
He said crowds thronging outside the airport could go home and their security would be guaranteed and he called on the United States not to encourage trained Afghans to leave their country.
"Engineers and doctors who studied here ... The country needs these talents, they should not be transferred to other countries," he said, adding that once security was re-established, women would be able to return to work as normal.
He also said that the Taliban were trying to clear the road outside the airport so that "foreign nationals can use it", but "domestic nationals" were not allowed as it was "blocked."
The spokesman denied reports that Taliban patrols were conducting house to house searches to find targets for reprisals, saying: "We have forgotten everything in the past."
Mujahid repeated that the Taliban wanted good diplomatic relations with other countries and wanted foreign embassies to remain open.
The hardline Islamist group also want the Central Bank and other banks to "resume activities".
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