Taliban ‘closely monitoring’ unrest in Kazakhstan after Russia-led intervention

The Taliban-led government in Afghanistan has said it was carefully following the events of an explosive situation in Kazakhstan amid protests and riots, which prompted intervention by Russia and its allies.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Foreign Ministry spokesman Fazilrabi Zahin published a statement on Thursday saying that the administration is “closely monitoring the situation in Kazakhstan and, as a close neighbor and economic partner of the state, the recent unrest”. worried about.”

The ministry urges “both the government and the protesters to resolve the issues through dialogue and peaceful means and to return peace and stability to the country.”

The statement was shared on Twitter by spokesman Abdul Kahr Balkhi, who said that “the Islamic Emirate considers security and political stability in the region essential to economic growth, trade and prosperity of the people.”

Months after Afghanistan ended its decades-long civil war with a US withdrawal and takeover of the Taliban in August, mass protests have erupted with deadly violence in nearby Kazakhstan. The demonstrations were fueled by a sudden rise in fuel prices over the weekend and led to government resignations and attacks on state institutions, leaving President Kasim-Jomart Tokayev to declare a state of emergency nationwide and appeal for aid from allies. .

The appeal was heard by the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a six-member bloc led by Russia that has agreed to send a joint peacekeeping force to quell unrest in the Central Asian state.

A frame grab from an AFPTV video made on January 5 shows protesters storming the city hall of Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city, as unprecedented unrest in the Central Asian nation spirals out of control due to rising energy prices . On 6 January, media reports said that demonstrators took gear and tear gas from police officers during a demonstration in the streets of Almaty, which killed 12 security officers and injured 353 people.
Alexander Platonov / AFPTV / Getty Images

While the Taliban remain vulnerable to foreign interference in the region due to their country’s history of conflict against Soviet and American interventions, the group has sought to establish itself as a responsible, stable international player since taking power. is of. Part of the effort includes diplomatic access to major powers as well as Central Asian states such as Kazakhstan, which have responded to the Taliban’s calls for international aid.

Late last month, Amir Khan Muttaki, Foreign Minister of the Islamic Emirate, hosted a delegation from Nur-Sultan led by Kazakh Trade Minister Bakht Sultanov.

The top Taliban diplomat thanked Kazakhstan at the time for “humanitarian assistance and international support to Afghanistan” and also to the Kazakh business delegation of “Afghanistan’s ability to connect Kazakhstan to South Asia, backed by firm security following recent changes.” blessed Assurance.” According to his ministry.

Sultanov was quoted as saying that “the economic resettlement of Afghanistan was important to him and he sought not only to export his products to Afghanistan, but also to export them through Afghanistan to reach the markets of other countries.” also demanded.” The Kazakh trade envoy emphasized its intention to promote connectivity to South Asia and Kazakh economic ties with Afghanistan, saying that “the Kazakh government will facilitate banking ties with Afghanistan, resume flights, and support Afghan students in various fields.” was ready to provide the scholarship.”

“Finally, the two sides resolved to expand the political and economic ties between the two countries,” the Islamic Emirate’s foreign ministry said in its Christmas Day statement.

Sultanov has stepped down along with other cabinet members in the midst of the current crisis there. Tokayev also sacked former President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who led the country since independence until he stepped down in 2019 and took on the new role of head of the Security Council, now held by Tokayev himself.

But as protests escalated and devoured Almaty’s largest city, even targeting Tokayev’s own residence, the Kazakh president on Wednesday called a “terrorist gang” known to have “extensive training abroad”. was received.” Hours after announcing that he had called the CSTO for help, the request was granted and by Thursday, forces from the coalition, including Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, began to arrive.

This is a developing news. More information will be added as it becomes available.