Taliban says will enter Kabul peacefully as insurgents surround capital from all sides
ANKARA (AA) – Afghanistan’s government will enter into talks with the Taliban for the peaceful transition of power after the insurgents closed in on the capital Kabul on Sunday, the country’s interior minister announced.
“As the Minister of Interior of Afghanistan, I ordered all security forces, special forces and other personnel to continue their duties in different places to ensure the security of the city. Our people should not worry. There is no security problem in the city at the moment,” Interior Minister Abdul Sattar Mirzakwal said in a video statement on Twitter.
He underlined that Kabul remains under government control and that the Taliban would not attack the city, adding that the transition of power would also happen peacefully for a transitional government to be set up.
The Taliban began to enter the outskirts of Afghanistan’s capital Kabul earlier in the day as it surrounded the city from all sides.
With the insurgents having captured all major provincial centers and border crossings in Afghanistan except for the capital, gunshots were heard around the presidential palace in the capital as the insurgents closed in on the city.
In a statement, however, the Taliban said it does not intend to enter Kabul “by force or war, but to negotiate with the other side to enter peacefully.”
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid also said that talks were underway to “ensure that the transition process is completed safely and securely, without compromising the lives, property and honor of anyone, and without compromising the lives of Kabulis.”
Halting its forces outside the city, the Taliban had said that until the completion of a transitional process, the security of Kabul would belong to the Afghan government.
It added that no retaliation would be sought against civilians or members of the military who served the Kabul administration.
While US troops began evacuating the country’s embassy in Kabul, NATO said its officials had been moved to “safe places” inside the capital.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry also urged Turkish nationals who want to leave Afghanistan to immediately inform the Turkish Embassy in Kabul.