Seoul: Taliban gov’t must respect basic rights

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FILE – In this Aug. 25, 2021, file photo, armored vehicles are seen in Panjshir Valley, north of Kabul, Afghanistan. The Taliban said on Monday, Sept. 6, 2021, they have taken control of Panjshir province north of Kabul, the Afghan capital. The province was the last holdout of anti-Taliban forces in the country and the only province the Taliban had not seized during their sweep last month. (AP Photo/Jalaluddin Sekandar)

SEOUL, South Korea – South Korea’s Foreign Ministry says Seoul is willing to work with a new Afghanistan government led by the Taliban if it follows “international convention, respects basic human rights and refuses to provide refuge for terrorism.”

Ministry spokesman Choi Young-sam spoke at a briefing on Tuesday where he addressed comments by Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen, who in an interview with South Korean broadcaster SBS called for Seoul to reopen its embassy in Kabul, saying that the safety of South Korean diplomats would be ensured.

“The (Seoul) government will closely monitor the changes in the internal political situation of Afghanistan and will closely coordinate with the international community in responding to the matter,” Choi said.

South Korea last month closed its embassy in Kabul and sent two military planes to evacuate nearly 400 Afghans, including those who had worked for the embassy and other South Korean-run facilities and their family members.

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