Canada refuses to recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday as the militant group took control of Afghanistan and a transitional government was formed.
And Trudeau said his government is committed to bringing "in the coming weeks," thousands of Afghans to Canada.
"They have taken over and replaced a duly elected democratic government by force ... they are a recognized terrorist organization under Canadian law," Trudeau said to reporters. "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," he said.
Tuesday was the third day in the 36-day Canadian federal election campaign that will culminate in voting on Sept. 20. Conservative Party leader Erin O'Toole announced Monday that if his party forms the new government it will not recognize the Taliban government.
"The use of force by the Taliban is completely unacceptable and that's why today I am announcing that a Conservative government will not recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan," he said in a statement. "A Conservative government will also commit to ensuring that aid provided to the Afghan people does not end up in the hands of the Taliban regime," he added.
Canadians and Afghans who worked for Canada in Afghanistan landed on separate planes in Canada late Monday.
It marked the sixth known arrival of Canadians and Afghans from Afghanistan, CTV News reported Tuesday.
Also running in the Canadian election is Bloc Quebecois. Its leader, Yves-Francois Blanchet, said Canada should refuse to acknowledge the Taliban government because it does not share the values of Canadians.
The Taliban declared the war in Afghanistan over after taking control of the presidential palace in Kabul, while Western nations scrambled Monday to evacuate their citizens amid chaos at Kabul Hamid Karzai International Airport as frantic Afghans searched for a way out.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said Sunday, "The Taliban have won with the judgment of their swords and guns, and are now responsible for the honor, property and self-preservation of their countrymen," after fleeing the country as the militants entered the capital virtually unopposed, saying he wanted to avoid bloodshed. The ensuing hours saw hundreds of Afghans desperate to leave flood Kabul airport.
"Today is a great day for the Afghan people and the mujahideen. They have witnessed the fruits of their efforts and their sacrifices for 20 years," Mohammad Naeem, the spokesperson for the Taliban's political office, told Qatar-based media outlet Al-Jazeera TV. "Thanks to God, the war is over in the country," he said.
It took the Taliban just over a week to seize control of the country after a lightning sweep that ended in Kabul as government forces, trained for two decades and equipped by the United States and others at a cost of billions of dollars, melted away.
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