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Hamas congratulates Taliban on victory while Iran notes US ‘military failure'

Taliban fighters patrol inside the city of Kandahar, southwest Afghanistan, Sunday, August 15, 2021 (AP Photo/Sidiqullah Khan) 
Associated Press Reporters

The Islamic militant group Hamas has congratulated the Taliban for their swift takeover of Afghanistan and the end to the United States’ 20-year presence in the country.

In a statement, Hamas welcomed “the defeat of the American occupation on all Afghan land” and praised what it said was the Taliban’s “courageous leadership on this victory, which was the culmination of its long struggle over the past 20 years”.

Hamas, a Palestinian group that opposes Israel’s existence, has governed the Gaza Strip since taking over the area in 2007, a year after it won a Palestinian election.

Hamas is considered a terrorist group by Israel, the US and the European Union.

It wished the people of Afghanistan future success and said the ousting of the US troops proves “that the resistance of the peoples, foremost of which is our struggling Palestinian people, is due for victory”.

China says its embassy remains open in Kabul and expressed a willingness to support its reconstruction.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying did not answer explicitly when asked whether Beijing would recognise the Taliban as the new government but said that China would respect the choice of the Afghan people.

She noted the Taliban pledges to negotiate the establishment of an inclusive Islamic government and to ensure the safety of both Afghans and foreign missions.

China, she added, hopes that would “ensure a smooth transition of the situation in Afghanistan”.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi called for national reconciliation in Afghanistan.

The official Irna news agency quoted Mr Raisi as saying Iran will support efforts to restore stability in Afghanistan as a first priority.

He called Iran “a brother and neighbouring nation” to Afghanistan.

He also described the Americans’ rapid pullout as a “military failure” that should “turn to an opportunity for restoring life, security and stable peace”.

Russia will decide whether to recognise the new Taliban government based on its conduct, the Kremlin envoy on Afghanistan said in an interview.

Zamir Kabulov told the Ekho Moskvy radio station that “no one is going to rush” the decision.

“Recognition or non-recognition will depend on the conduct of the new authorities,” Mr Kabulov said.

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