Taliban Says It Wants Ties With U.S. and Rest of the World – but Not 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,' Taliban spokesman tells Russian Sputnik News

JTA
Ron Kampeas
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Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid speaks during a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, this week.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid speaks during a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, this week.Credit: AP Photo/Muhammad Farooq
JTA
Ron Kampeas

The Taliban is ready to build relations with the world — except for Israel. Suhail Shaheen, the spokesman for the Taliban that assumed control of Afghanistan last month, told Sputnik News that his country is ready to work with the United States and other countries in rebuilding the Asian land.

“Yes, of course, in a new chapter if America wants to have a relation with us, which could be in the interest of both countries and both peoples, and if they want to participate in the reconstruction of Afghanistan, they are welcome,” Shaheen told the Russian government-run news agency.

“Of course, we won’t have any relation with Israel. We want to have relations with other countries; Israel is not among these countries.”

Shaheen gave an interview last month to an Israeli state broadcaster as the Taliban was taking control of the country and the Biden administration was ending America’s 20-year military presence in Afghanistan. Shaheen later said he did not realize he was speaking to an Israeli journalist.

The last time the Talban ruled Afghanistan, from 1996 to 2001, they were known for their insularity and rejecting foreign influence and assistance.

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