Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, between fear and caution about Taliban radicalism


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this The Taliban seizes power Arab countries involving the Persian Gulf, especially Saudi ArabiaThey worry that the victory of the movement will lead to a comeback of radical Sunni groups throughout the region, but they are open to changes in the Kabul government.

Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) established Relations with the Taliban regime Between 1996 and 2001, but during the 9/11 attacks in the United States and the Taliban’s refusal to hand over the leader of the terrorist network al Qaeda, Saudi Arabia Osama Bin Laden, To his motherland.

The welcoming of armed groups in the Gulf (such as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) or the Palestinian faction and others deemed “enemies” (such as Lebanese Shia Hezbollah) to the return of the Taliban has made Saudi Arabia and the UAE vigilant, and they seek Become a benchmark in the Muslim world.

Moderate Islam

These are legitimate concerns of the governments of the Gulf countries,” Saudi political analysts told Efe. Ali Bavazel He emphasized that the Riyadh government “has not forgotten the Taliban’s support for bin Laden and refused to hand him over.”

“The Saudi spokesperson made Afghanistan as a condition (with the Taliban) Do not accept groups that use weapons He added that in order to promote change, based on extreme interpretations of Islamic texts, these texts made Saudi territory and civilians “legitimate targets of attack.”

The two holiest places in Islam, Mecca and Medina, have always been Islamist target, Despite the application of a strict system of religious norms, which includes restrictions on women’s rights.

In recent years, Riyadh has launched a modernization plan called “Vision 2030”, which includes Open to tourism and resume prohibited recreational activities Since the 1980s, it has tried to create a more friendly image for the ultra-conservative kingdom.

According to Bawazel, “Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries will accept a relationship and recognize the Taliban on the condition that Break with radical armed groups. “

Last Sunday, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting of 57 countries was held in the Saudi city of Jeddah. The meeting called on the Taliban to work for a “reconciliation” and unity government, and called on Afghanistan to “not become.” Used as a platform or refuge for terrorism and extremism. “

President in exile flees

As far as the UAE is concerned, it welcomes the President of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani And actively participate in the process of coordinating the evacuation of foreigners and Afghans from Kabul with the United States, and Can accommodate up to 5,000 people It will then be transferred to a third country.

However, the authorities seem to be looking forward to the development of the situation in Afghanistan because they want to become an increasingly influential international player.

The diplomatic adviser to the President of the UAE, Anwar Gargas He welcomed the amnesty and tolerance pledges made by the Taliban and said that “Afghanistan needs to maintain good relations with the international community.”

“We hope that Afghanistan will end the suffering and Towards peace and prosperity for your people“Added the eloquent diplomat who often speaks for the official position of the Abu Dhabi government.

George Cafiro, executive director and founder of the Washington-based consulting firm Gulf States Analysis, told Effie that the Gulf States had been “cautious” and “very pragmatic” in the face of the Afghanistan crisis.

Without a doubt, according to Cafiero, ” Unstable It can overflow to the Gulf in Afghanistan, so the situation in this Asian country is very important to the six “Arab countries”.

Among them, “the UAE is probably the most ideologically opposed to the Taliban” because it opposes all forms of political Islam. In the past decade, it has launched a full-scale war against the Taliban.

Approaching the Taliban

For its part, taste It is the only one to keep The direct relationship with the Taliban, They have a political office in Doha, on the one hand the negotiations between the radical movement and Washington, and on the other hand the so-called intra-Afghan negotiations since September 2020.

The Taliban have expressed their intention to continue the dialogue. The former Ghani government participated in the dialogue. The last round of dialogue was held in early August, shortly before the occupation of Kabul.

Cafiro believes that “Qatar will strive to continue to play the role of mediator between the Taliban and the West, mainly the United States,” and in this regard can become a very “useful” actor in Washington.

The most unusual pose by far is Oman, His Mufti or Sunni highest religious authority Ahmed bin Hamad Al Khalili congratulated the “Afghan people and the Islamic State for A clear victory over the aggressor“Although the Sultanate government did not express itself in the same way.


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