OTTAWA — Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said the government has “no plans” to recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan, hours after the Conservatives released a statement with the same declaration.
Speaking to reporters on day three of the federal election campaign, Trudeau reminded Canadians that 20 years ago, Canada also didn’t recognize the terrorist organization as a government when they took over.
“They have taken over and replaced a duly elected democratic government by force…they are a recognized terrorist organization under Canadian law. 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.
Yesterday evening, a number of Canadians who worked in Afghanistan returned home on an Air Senegal flight.
The flight, which departed from Cologne, Germany, became the fifth known flight to repatriate Canadian citizens and Afghans who helped the Canadian Armed Forces and Canadian Embassy since the federal government started emergency flights on Aug. 4.
One official at the Ottawa airport told CTV News that no Afghans were on this flight.
Another flight landed in Toronto last night carrying Afghans who have come to Canada under Special Immigration Measures, according to Global Affairs Canada.
The Conservative Party issued a statement on Monday evening blaming Trudeau for “abandoning” Afghans and stating that a government under Erin O’Toole wold not recognize the Taliban as the country’s 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. 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,” the statement reads.
More to come…
With files from CTV News’ Mackenzie Gray.