President of the Afghan National Peace Council: “We can solve the refugee problem together”

President of the Afghan National Peace Council: “We can solve the refugee problem together”

By Özgür Altınbaş

The President of the Afghan National Peace Council, Mohammad Daoud Abedi visited Turkey. During his visit, he made important statements concerning the refugee problem and the future Afghan government.

Abedi stated his will to enlighten the Turkish public opinion in a wide range of issues. Abedi spoke about the refugee problem, the situation in Panjshir and the future relations with Turkey. Stating that they are currently engaged with Afghanistan’s reconstruction, Abedi declared they were willing to speak with Turkey on all matters. He also made an important call to the Afghan refugees in Turkey.

“The right step is the recognition of the Afghan government”

Abedi answered our question, when a Taliban delegation will visit Turkey following the announcement of the government as follows: “There is two options to realize that in the very short term: The first option is that the Turkish government officially invites the Taliban delegation to Turkey. The second option is that Turkey recognizes the Afghan government, and the start of diplomatic relations with the opening of the Afghan embassy in Turkey. As I stated before, we can discuss and agree with Turkey on all matters from A to Z. Turkey can provide support to Afghanistan as it provides support to other countries. There are opportunities in a range of fields, from agriculture over education to trade… We will be very happy to cooperate with Turkey on all these areas, because our society has urgent needs in the new process we have entered.”

The President of the Afghan National Peace Council in interview with Özgür Altınbaş

Abedi also added “We feel the Turkish people very close to us. Our expectation is that the Turkish people take the right step. And as the right step, we propose the recognition of this provisional government.”

“Refugee problem will be solved by supporting the government”

Abedi said that there are millions of Afghan refugees in the world. He stated: “This is a very important matter for us, but we cannot solve this problem immediately. This is at the same time a global problem, therefore, the world needs to support the Afghan people and the recently established Afghan government. We do respect human rights. Therefore, we call on the Afghan refugees in the world: return to your homeland.”

Abedi said they would solve the refugee problem in the future, with the majority of the Afghans returning home. Concerning the Afghan refugees outside Afghanistan, Abedi continued:

“We are right now discussing these issues. There are millions of Afghan refugees all over the world. There are 3.5 million in Pakistan, 1.5 million in Iran, and more in other countries, whose numbers we don’t know. These refugees have fled their country due to war and security reasons. I am calling on all Afghan brothers and sisters, starting with those in Turkey: return to your homeland.”

Saying that there are work and education opportunities in Afghanistan, Abedi added: “In Istanbul, Afghans are sleeping on the streets. Instead of sleeping on the streets, they should return home and live in the houses peacefully.” Abedi also made a call on Turks: “We ask our Turkish brothers and sisters to treat the Afghan refugees with understanding and kindness.”

“We will never permit terror on our soil”

Abedi said his government would cooperate with neighboring countries to establish peace and stability in the region, especially standing firm against and taking precautions to avoid terror acts directed at neighboring countries. Saying that his country, which has a land border with China, will establish security in Afghanistan against all kinds of terror activities, Abedi answered a question concerning the terror organization East Turkestan Islamic Movement as follows: “I have visited Xinjiang several times. I have visited the cities Urumqi, Hotan, Turpan. I have travelled to various cities of Xinjiang for business reasons. The Afghan people and government clearly and definitively rejects terrorism in the region. We have common positions and situations in our current relations with China. In these relations, we mutually need to refrain from intervening in domestic affairs. We act taking care of this principle. Afghanistan needs China, and China needs Afghanistan. China is a very big country and at the same time our neighbor. We think to work with them as long as our relations are based on mutual respect.”

Abedi added: “We never supported terrorism, and our religion forbids that too. Right now, Afghanistan has domestic matters it has to deal with. There is a terror problem in different parts of the world. Currently, it is very difficult for us to deal with terror problems in other parts of the world, because right now, we are working to establish our own government. Once we have established our own peaceful government, we discuss all problems and seek for solutions from Kashmir to Palestine, from Xinjiang to Somalia.”

 “You wouldn’t believe what we have found in Amrullah Saleh’s house”

Panjshir was another topic among Abedi’s statements, who declared that the Taliban had established control over the whole province: “Panjshir is fully liberated. There are not clashes there at all anymore. When we took control over Panjshir, we have looked for the house of the former Vice President Amrullah Saleh. We found it and we discovered incredible things in the house. When we searched the house, we found 6.5 million dollars in cash and 16 kg. gold. While the Afghan people is living in poverty, these people are living in wealth.”

Mentioning that Westerners had confiscated the Afghan people’s money, Abedi stated: “In order borders and customs, all our money had been stolen by the occupiers. Even the former President Ashraf Ghani was saying that 7 million dollars were stolen from Afghan customs – daily!” Underlining that Panjshir was part of Afghanistan, Abedi said “there is not difference between this province and other provinces of Afghanistan. We love the people of Panjshir just as we love the other Afghans. We do not discriminate here. We will work for Panjshir as we will work for the other provinces.”

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December 2023