Indonesia holds fire on Afghanistan relations – awaits Taliban government

Next chapter in Afghanistan
Next chapter in Afghanistan ... "the situation is still fluid." Image: Al Jazeera screenshot APR

By Marcheilla Ariesta in Jakarta

Indonesia, the world’s fourth largest country by population with 270 million, has not yet determined its stance towards the Taliban leadership after seizing power in Afghanistan.

It is also the most populous Muslim country.

The Director-General for Asia Pacific and Africa at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abdul Kadir Jailani, said the same attitude was also being shown by other countries.

Abdul Kadir Jailani Indonesia
Indonesia’s Director-General for Asia Pacific and Africa at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abdul Kadir Jailani … “quite warm” response in Indonesia to Taliban takeover. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

“Why haven’t many countries taken a definitive stance, because the situation is still fluid and (the Taliban) have not yet formed a legitimate government,” said Abdul Kadir in the webinar ‘Post-Conflict Afghanistan: Fall or Rise?’ this week.

According to Jailani, Taliban officials are negotiating with a number of figures in Afghanistan in a bid to form a new government.

In addition to the formation of government, Indonesia is also still waiting for the status of the Taliban in the international community.

Jailani said a common view was needed about the status of the Taliban.

“This understanding is very important, so we can get faster information to determine our attitude towards the Taliban and its government later,” he added.

He said the Indonesian government was also careful in determining its stance because the Taliban’s seizure of power in Afghanistan received a “quite warm” and mixed reaction from within Indonesia.

Jailani stressed that Indonesia’s definitive stance would only be conveyed when the situation in Afghanistan became clearer.

The Taliban seized control of the civilian government in Afghanistan on August 15 without any resistance. A few days ago, the Taliban claimed to have pocketed a number of names of figures who would later fill the new government.

Unlike in the 1996-2001 era, the Taliban claimed to be forming an inclusive government that involved all elements and ethnicities in Afghanistan.

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