He was believed to be missing, but now he’s supposed to be back in Afghanistan: Haibatullah Achundsada, leader of the Taliban.
Istanbul (AP) – Taliban leader Haibatullah Achundsada, so far missing, is in Afghanistan, according to the Islamist spokesman.
“Haibatullah Achundsada is currently in talks in Kandahar,” Taliban spokesman Sabiullah Mujahid said Sunday evening in an interview with the official Anadolu news agency in Turkey.
After the Taliban came to power in mid-August, the movement’s vice-leader, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, arrived in Afghanistan. It was not yet known where Achundzada was.
The Taliban would demand access to money blocked abroad, Mujahid also said. After the installation of the new government, the financial problems will be gradually resolved and Afghanistan will have its own sources of income, he said. The Taliban currently have no access to cash reserves abroad. Billions of international aid pledges are on hold.
The Taliban have sought close cooperation with Turkey, both on the economy and in education, Mujahid said. “The Turkish people and the state are our friends. There are many reasons our friendship lasts. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had previously said his country wanted to help the Taliban build infrastructure in Afghanistan.
Turkey has withdrawn its troops from Afghanistan. While other countries have closed their diplomatic missions in Kabul, the Turkish embassy is still open.