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Taliban refuse to rule out ties with Israel

By News Report
September 02, 2022

KABUL: A spokesman for the Taliban refused to rule out establishing relations with Israel during an interview with Al-Jazeera on Wednesday. Earlier statements by the movement ruled this out, according to a clip shared by Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

“Our policy is to resolve problems through dialogue and mutual understanding with everybody. Whoever has a problem and wants to resolve it, we are perfectly ready,” the spokesman for the Taliban’s Political Bureau Dr Muhammad Naeem, told Al-Jazeera.

When the interviewer questioned if this included Israel, Naeem responded, “What problem do we have with Israel? Next thing someone will ask if we are willing to (have a dialogue) with Mars.”

The interviewer responded by asking if the Taliban really doesn’t have a problem with Israel, with Naeem responding “I don’t know...This is the media for you...You bring stuff from the end of the world and throw it into the mix of our reality here. This is very strange.”

“If a country or a person does not have a problem with us, can you ask whether we are willing to resolve the problems with people we have nothing to do with? I think that asking this is unreasonable.”

Despite the seeming openness to consider establishing relations with Israel, the Taliban has explicitly stated in the past that it is not willing to build relations with Israel. “Of course, we won’t have any relation with Israel. We want to have relations with other countries; Israel is not among these countries,” said Suhail Shaheen, the spokesman for the movement, in an interview with Sputnik News last September.