Beijing officials pose with leaders of militants and Kremlin has ‘no plans’ to evacuate its embassy due to ‘good relations’
China, Russia, Pakistan and Turkey all appear set to formally recognise Taliban rule in neighbouring Afghanistan after the Islamist terror group seized the Presidential Palace in Kabul on Sunday and the country’s embattled president fled for Tajikistan.
Most global powers are reluctant to recognise the rule of the militant group overthrown by US-led coalition forces in 2001, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson warning that Afghanistan cannot be allowed to become a ‘breeding ground for terror’ again.
But Beijing and Islamabad could break rank in order to form closer ties with the likely new government, with Chinese state media preparing its people to accept the likely scenario that the ruling Communist Party might have to recognise the Islamist group.
In China, a series of photos were published last month by state media showing Foreign Minister Wang Yi standing shoulder to shoulder with visiting Taliban officials decked out in traditional tunic and turban in Tianjin.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin said that there are no plans to evacuate the Russian Embassy in Kabul, with Russian state media reporting that the Sunni Islamist group formed after the Soviet withdrawal of Afghanistan has promised to guarantee the safety of its diplomatic staff.
‘The organisation has ‘good relations with Russia’ and a ‘policy in general to ensure safe conditions for the functioning of the Russian and other embassies,’ news agency AP quoted Suhail Shaheen, a spokesman for the Taliban’s political office, as saying to Tass.
And Iran, which has long been wary of the Sunni Muslim Taliban, has moved to ensure the safety of its diplomats and staff after previously offering to help end the crisis during talks in July.