Aug 18, 2021
Justin Trudeau Transcript: Canada Has “No Plans” to Recognize Taliban as Government of Afghanistan
Canada PM Justin Trudeau said “Canada has no plans to recognize the Taliban as the government of Afghanistan” during remarks to the press on August 17, 2021. Read the transcript of his remarks on the situation in Afghanistan here.
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Justin Trudeau: (00:00)
Earlier this morning, I had another briefing with officials. Over the last weeks, we have had nine flights out of Afghanistan, including having fully evacuated all of our diplomatic officials. We will honor the sacrifices of Canadians, our armed forces, diplomats, journalists, and civil society made over the past years. We’re also working closely with the U.S. and looking at how we can remove more people in the coming days and weeks.
Justin Trudeau: (00:29)
And we’re working with our allies on what Canada, as part of the international community, can do to stabilize the situation, protect civilians, and put an end to the violence. This includes taking leadership by bringing Afghans to safety in Canada, with hundreds of people having already arrived. In the coming days, a number of the Afghan families that arrived weeks ago will be ending their COVID-19 quarantine and able start their new lives across the country.
Justin Trudeau: (01:01)
One of our priorities in Afghanistan has always been the safety of women and girls. This is something I’ve discussed a number of times with Minister Maryam Monsef. Maryam is herself an extraordinary woman leader from Afghanistan who understands just how precarious the situation is. She continues to work tirelessly across government and with partners to improve the situation.
Justin Trudeau: (01:26)
I also spoke last night with former U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who shares our concern for Afghan women and girls. She welcomed our efforts and urged Canada to continue our work. Governments, international organizations, and civil society must continue to work together to support women and girls in Afghanistan. The Afghan people need the world to stand with them. And that is what Canada will continue to do.
Speaker 2: (01:54)
Your foreign affairs minister yesterday said that Canada is going to wait and see if it will recognize the Taliban as a legitimate government. This is a terrorist organization that’s harbored Al-Qaeda, it oppresses women. What are you waiting to see?
Justin Trudeau: (02:07)
Look, Canada has no plans to recognize the Taliban as the government of Afghanistan. When they were in government 20 years ago, Canada did not recognize them as a government. They have taken over and replaced a duly elected democratic government by force. And, as you point out, they are a recognized terrorist organization under Canadian law.
Justin Trudeau: (02:35)
Our focus right now is on getting people out of Afghanistan. And the Taliban need to ensure free access to people to get to the airport. We will continue to work with our international partners to put pressure on them to do just that and to secure a future for people in Afghanistan.