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Taliban thanks world for aid, urges US to show ‘heart’

The Taliban on Tuesday thanked the world for pledging hundreds of millions of dollars in emergency aid to Afghanistan, and urged the United States to show “heart” to the impoverished country.
A donor conference in Geneva on Monday saw countries promise a total of $1.2 billion in aid for Afghanistan, which was taken over by the Islamist group last month in a lightning offensive that took retreating US troops by surprise.
Amir Khan Muttaqi, the regime’s acting foreign minister, told a press conference the Taliban would spend donor money wisely and use it to alleviate poverty. “The Islamic Emirate will try its best to deliver this aid to the needy people in a completely transparent manner,” Muttaqi said.
He also asked Washington to show appreciation for the Taliban allowing the US to complete a troop withdrawal and evacuation of more than 120,000 people last month.
“America is a big country, they need to have a big heart,” he said.
Muttaqi said Afghanistan, which is also facing a drought, had already received aid from countries such as Qatar, Pakistan and Uzbekistan.
He said he had held discussions with China’s ambassador on the coronavirus vaccine and other humanitarian causes, with Beijing pledging $15m which will be available “soon”.