SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 26 July 2021, Monday |

Taliban Guarantee Security of Foreign Diplomats in Mazar-i-Sharif, Spokesman Says

The Taliban guarantee security of foreign diplomats in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif in northern Afghanistan, the movement’s spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told Sputnik.

“Now I cannot say whether Mazar-i-Sharif would be handed over to the Taliban, but for reasons of security of embassies, consulates and foreign diplomats, I must say that they will ensure their safety and there will be no problems for them. We are in touch with the countries, who have embassies and consulates in Mazar-i-Sharif, they trust us”, Mujahid said.

The Taliban, which control over 70% of the border with Tajikistan, guarantee security and non-interference, while the percentage of controlled territories may grow, Mujahid added.

“We confirm this [control over part of the border with Tajikistan]. We have occupied even more than 70% of the border with Tajikistan. We will have good relations with our friendly country Tajikistan. Security will be established at the borders, and no interference will occur”, Mujahid said.

The percentage of territories controlled by the Taliban “may increase”, he said.

“Yesterday evening, large territory in the province of Badakhshan [was occupied], and those who spoke from the government of Kabul at the border fled from there, and as a result the territory came under our control”, the spokesman explained.

Earlier, local broadcaster 1TV News reported that the consulates of Turkey, Pakistan and Iran had temporarily suspended work in Mazar-i-Sharif over fears that the area could be unsafe amid the advance of the Taliban militants. The Russian Embassy in Kabul told Sputnik that the Russian Consulate General in Mazar-i-Sharif was closed “until the situation is clarified.”