Madrid Desk, Aug 17 (EFE).- The Taliban’s rapid rise to power in Afghanistan following the swift withdrawal of the United States-led NATO mission in the country after almost two decades has altered the geopolitics of the region almost overnight.
Faced with a new reality in the war-torn nation, major regional powers are weighing up their future relations with the Taliban regime.
NATO secretary-general Jens Stoltenberg on Tuesday blamed Afghanistan’s leadership for the rapid collapse of the country to the Taliban, although acknowledged his surprise at the speed of the insurgents’ takeover, something mirrored by official US statements on Monday.
“This failure of Afghan leadership led to the tragedy we are witnessing today,” Stoltenberg told a press conference.
“In the long run, we strongly believe it is better to train local capacity, to train local forces,” he said.
“But the big question we have to ask in an honest and clear-eyed way is why the forces we trained and equipped and supported over so many years, were not able to stand up against the Taliban in a stronger and better way than they did.”
China has urged the Taliban to observe a peaceful transition of power and to establish an “inclusive” Islamic government that will protect Beijing’s regional interests and hinder the spread of terrorism.
Qian Fen, an academic at Tsinghua University, told Efe that the US withdrawal damaged its international image as the world watched the “chaos” unfold at Kabul’s international airport, where crowds of people desperately tried to board planes after the capital fell to the Taliban.