KABUL: Afghanistan’s acting Prime Minister Mohammad Hassan Akhund, pledged that his government will “not interfere” in other countries’ internal affairs, and urged international charities to continue offering aid to the war-ravaged country.
Hassan’s audio speech broadcast on state television — his first address to the nation since the Taliban seized power in August — came ahead of next week’s meeting between the United States and the Taliban in Doha.
“We assure all the countries that we will not interfere in their internal affairs and we want to have good economic relations with them,” said Hassan in a nearly 30-minute speech that came amid criticism on social media for remaining silent since the Islamists took power, even as the nation faced severe challenges.
The Taliban seized power on August 15 after ousting the previous US-backed government, as Washington hurriedly withdrew its troops from the country after a 20-year war.
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Hassan’s government faces a series of challenges, in particular reviving the country’s dilapidated economy that has been dried of international aid, which used to make up 75 per cent of the national budget under the previous US-backed governments.
“We ask all the international charity organisations to not withhold their aid and to help our exhausted nation… so that the problems of the people could be solved,” Hassan said in his speech.
The United Nations’ aid agencies have warned that a major humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Afghanistan, with more than half of the country’s 38 million population expected to face hunger this winter.