Pledge by new foreign minister is first look at Taliban's plans to respect U.S. withdrawal agreement

Taliban foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaq said Afghanistan’s new government remains committed to its promises not to allow militants to use its territory to attack others, as governments around the world — and many Afghans at home — are searching for indications on how the Islamic fundamentalists will rule Afghanistan after sweeping out the U.S.-backed government and taking over Kabul a month ago.

The U.S. and its allies have pushed the Taliban not to repeat its harsh rule of the 1990s, when it monopolized power and imposed its harsh interpretation of Islamic law, including severe restrictions on women and minorities. Mottaqi gave little sign whether the Taliban will bend to the international pressure. He would not give say how long the interim government would be in place or whether it would eventually be opened up to other factions, minorities or women.

Al-Qaeda forces operating from Afghanistan trained the mostly-Saudi hijackers who flew airplanes into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and attempted to hit the Capitol or the White House in 2001, killing some 3,000 Americans and igniting two decades of war.

“We will not allow anyone or any groups to use our soil against any other countries,” he said.

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