Taliban forces stand guard inside Kabul, Afghanistan August 16, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer
Saudi Arabia on Monday urged Taliban insurgents who seized Afghanistan's capital Kabul, completing a sweep across the country, to preserve lives, property and security as stipulated by "Islamic principles".
"The kingdom stands with the choices that the Afghan people make without interference," the foreign ministry of Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, said in a statement issued by official media.
"Based on the noble principles of Islam..., the kingdom of Saudi Arabia hopes that the Taliban movement and all Afghan parties will work to preserve security, stability, lives and property,"
It also voiced hope the situation would stabilise as soon as possible, as thousands of Afghans fearful of the Taliban thronged Kabul airport in desperate efforts to leave. Five people were killed in the chaos on Monday.
Fellow Gulf state Qatar said it was seeking a peaceful transition in Afghanistan and was doing its utmost to help efforts to evacuate diplomats and foreign staff in international organizations from the country.
Doha has hosted a Taliban office since 2013 for peace talks andhas played a central role in trying to reach a political settlement in Afghanistan with the withdrawal of U.S. troops.
"There is international concern about the fast pace of developments and Qatar is doing its utmost to bring a peaceful transition, especially after the vacuum that happened," Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani told a news conference in the Jordanian capital Amman.
Bahrain, current chair of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, said on Monday it would initiate consultations with fellow Gulf Arab states regarding the situation in Afghanistan, state media reported.
Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Additional reporting by Maher Chmaytelli in Dubai; editing by Mark Heinrich
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