Yes, you read that right. The Taliban — the Islamist group that seized Afghanistan in August last year after years of violent war — is calling for peace in Ukraine.
Early on Thursday morning, President Vladimir Putin launched military attacks on multiple fronts in Ukraine. And already, this has led to the death of hundreds of people, including civilians. World leaders, and even Russian civilians and celebrities, have called on Putin to end this senseless war and, on Friday, the Taliban-controlled government of Afghanistan also issued a statement asking for an end to the bloodshed.
"The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is closely monitoring the situation in Ukraine and expresses concern about real possibility of civilian casualties," Taliban government spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi tweeted. "The Islamic Emirate calls for restraint by both parties. All sides need to desist from taking positions that could intensify violence."
While the country maintains a stance of neutrality and isn't condemning Russia nor siding with Ukraine, the group is asking that matters be resolved "through dialogue and peaceful means." Granted, the Taliban also made it clear that one of their main concerns is "safeguarding the lives of Afghan students and migrants in Ukraine," though they haven't said anything about potential extrication plans.
Since the unprovoked invasion on the evening of February 23, world leaders, public figures and even Russian citizens have called on Putin to end this senseless war, which has also led to an onslaught of financial regulations and international sanctions that are meant to target its politicians and oligarchs. What started as a series of missile strikes on the capital city of Kiev has since evolved into a full-blown campaign that's seen Russian soldiers steadily pushing against Ukrainian borders following escalating political tensions between the neighboring countries, despite diplomatic talks and Putin's denial of a planned invasion earlier this month.
The Kremlin has yet to respond to the Taliban's statement. In the meantime, you can read their full statement below.
Photo via Getty
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