Germans welcome in Afghanistan, Taliban spokesperson says | News | DW | 05.09.2021

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Germans welcome in Afghanistan, Taliban spokesperson says

A Taliban spokesman has said Germans are welcome in Afghanistan and that the group hopes Berlin will open diplomatic ties. The militant Islamist group is aiming for international legitimacy — as well as substantial aid.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid attends the first press conference the Taliban gave in Kabul after seizing power

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid says Germans are welcome as is diplomatic recognition and financial support

In an interview published Sunday, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag that the militant group now in control of most of Afghanistan would like diplomatic relations and financial support from Germany.

"We want strong and official diplomatic relations with Germany," Mujahid told the paper.

In addition to diplomatic relations, the Taliban also seek financial support, humanitarian aid and cooperation in health, agriculture and education from Germany.

Watch video 00:58

German Greens reject financial aid for Taliban

Mujahid said Germans were always welcome in Afghanistan. He added even added that Germans had once been viewed as a positive influence in Afghanistan.

"Unfortunately, they then joined the Americans. But that is forgiven now," Mujahid said.

Germany helping Afghans to flee

Germany closed its embassy in Kabul with the Taliban's victory and relocated Ambassador Markus Potzel to Doha, Qatar, but the German government remains in contact with the Taliban.

Watch video 00:30

Maas: 'No getting away from engaging in talks with the Taliban'

Berlin is hoping for some level of cooperation to bring more eligible Afghans out of the country. The Taliban have a political office that functions roughly as a foreign ministry might in Doha.

While German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has been keen to stress that diplomatic representation does not equal recognition of the Taliban government, he did say last week: "If it were politically possible and if the security situation permits, then Germany should also have its own embassy in Kabul again."

Watch video 02:54

Journalist Franz Marty reports from Kabul

ar/sms (Reuters, AFP, DPA)