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Saudi Arabia hopes new Afghan government can bring stability

Saudi Arabia hopes new Afghan government can bring stability
September 9, 2021 Web Desk

CAIRO (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia hopes the advent of a caretaker government in Afghanistan will help it to achieve stability and overcome violence and extremism, the kingdom's foreign minister said at a ministerial meeting devoted to the Afghan crisis.

Prince Faisal bin Farhan also affirmed Saudi support for "the choices the Afghan people make regarding the future of their country, away from external interference", Saudi state news agency SPA reported.

Riyadh hopes the formation of the caretaker administration will be "a step in the right direction towards achieving security and stability, rejecting violence and extremism, building a bright future in line with these aspirations", he added.

The ruling Taliban has dismayed Western countries by appointing veteran hardliners to top positions in the new government, including several with a US bounty on their head.

Tens of thousands of people fled Afghanistan after the Islamist group seized power in mid-August following a lightning military campaign. Many of those who left were professionals fearing reprisals because of their association with the previous Western-backed government. 

In Kabul, dozens of women took to the streets again on Wednesday to demand representation in the new administration and for their rights to be protected.

Bin Farhan said Saudi Arabia, a Sunni Muslim regional power, "attaches the utmost importance to supporting the ways through which Afghanistan can overcome its current challenges".