Countries grapple with thorny issue of Taliban recognition

With their new government in place, the next challenge for the Taliban’s leadership will be gaining international recognition of their regime.


Governments around the world have spent several weeks grappling with the thorny question of how they will engage with the new leadership and whether to recognise them as a legitimate government.


The US has already announced that it does not intend to recognise the Taliban’s rule, with White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki telling reporters on Tuesday that there would be no “rush to recognition” from the Biden administration.


Last week the UK’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that while he intends to engage with the Taliban on some issues, the UK will not “recognise the Taliban as a government”.


The Kremlin has taken a more cautious line. A spokesperson said Russia has not yet made any decisions on the recognition of the Taliban government and that it will “very carefully” monitor the situation in Afghanistan.


China has said that it seeks “friendly and co-operative” relations – although it, too, has yet to formally recognise the new regime.


And while Pakistan hasn’t recognised the new government either, the head of its intelligence service, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), visited Kabul over the weekend and senior government officials have called for international engagement with the Taliban’s regime.


During their last period in power, the Taliban’s government was recognised by just three countries, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

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