Afghanistan next in Abraham Accords? Taliban refuses to rule it out

"What problem do we have with Israel?" questioned a spokesman for the Taliban.

 Head of the Taliban delegation Abdul Salam Hanafi takes part in international talks on Afghanistan in Moscow, Russia, October 20, 2021.  (photo credit: ALEXANDER ZEMLIANICHENKO/POOL VIA REUTERS)
Head of the Taliban delegation Abdul Salam Hanafi takes part in international talks on Afghanistan in Moscow, Russia, October 20, 2021.
(photo credit: ALEXANDER ZEMLIANICHENKO/POOL VIA REUTERS)

A spokesman for the Taliban refused to rule out establishing relations with Israel during an interview with Al-Jazeera on Wednesday, despite earlier statements by the movement ruling this out, according to a clip shared by MEMRI.

"Our policy is to resolve problems through dialogue and mutual understanding with everybody. Whoever has a problem and wants to resolve it, we are perfectly ready," the spokesman of the Taliban’s Political Bureau, Dr. Muhammad Naeem, told Al-Jazeera.

When the interviewer questioned if this included Israel, Naeem responded, "What problem do we have with Israel? Next thing someone will ask where are willing to (have a dialogue) with Mars."

The interviewer responded by asking if the Taliban really doesn't have a problem with Israel, with Naeem responding "I don't know...This is the media for you...You bring stuff from the end of the world and throw it into the mix of our reality here. This is very strange."

"If a country or a person does not have a problem with us, can you ask whether we are willing to resolve the problems with people we have nothing to do with? I think that asking this is unreasonable."

 Taliban fighters hold an Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan flag on the first anniversary of the fall of Kabul on a street in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 15, 2022. (credit:  REUTERS/ALI KHARA) Taliban fighters hold an Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan flag on the first anniversary of the fall of Kabul on a street in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 15, 2022. (credit: REUTERS/ALI KHARA)

Taliban has been against normalizing relations with Israel in the past

Despite the seeming openness to consider establishing relations with Israel, the Taliban has explicitly stated in the past that it is not willing to build relations with Israel.

“Of course, we won’t have any relation with Israel. We want to have relations with other countries; Israel is not among these countries," said Suhail Shaheen, the spokesman for the movement, in an interview with Sputnik News last September.

Shaheen gave an interview with Israel's KAN news last year, although he later denied that he had known that he was speaking with an Israeli channel.