KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will support peace efforts in Afghanistan but has yet to recognise the interim government led by the Taliban, Parliament was told on Tuesday (Sept 21).
Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah said Wisma Putra will continue to monitor the latest developments in Afghanistan after the Taliban took over Kabul on Aug 15, 2021.
"Touching on the specific question related to the issue of recognition, I would like to state that until today no country has recognised the interim Taliban government in Afghanistan, including its neighbours.
"As such, Malaysia is also observing the developments in Afghanistan,” he told Datuk Mohd Hatta Md Ramli (PH-Lumut) during Ministers' Question Time.
Hatta had asked Wisma Putra whether Malaysia will recognise Afghanistan under Taliban rule.
Before making a final decision on the issue of recognition, Saifuddin said that Malaysia would need to consider several factors.
Among them, Malaysia will make a decision based on the Afghan people’s acceptance of the Taliban government.
"This is related to the issue of legitimacy," he said.
Another factor to be considered is that the interim Taliban government is not inclusive for not including other key ethnic groups and women's representatives in its administration, said Saifuddin.
"Malaysia believes that the inclusivity aspect is important in order to achieve peace and lasting stability so that each level of the Afghan community will achieve peace, harmony, development and prosperity," he said.
"Here, I would like to highlight the importance of the role of women in the administration, not only in terms of protection and promotion of women’s rights, but also in the aspect of their role and contribution to society and the state," Saifuddin said.
Noting the worsening humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, he said the Malaysian government has pledged to provide a total of US$100,000 (RM419,000) in financial assistance to Afghanistan.
"This pledge was made during a high-level virtual meeting with the United Nation (UN), chaired by the UN secretary-general, regarding the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan on Sept 13," he said.
According to Saifuddin, there are two Malaysians who are currently in Afghanistan.
"Both of them are working with international humanitarian organisations, which is the Norwegian Red Cross and International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IRFC).
"They have informed the Malaysian High Commission in New Delhi regarding their situation in Afghanistan and both of them are safe," he said, adding that both of them wanted to remain there to carry out their work and services.