Federal minister Monsef says her mention of Taliban as ‘our brothers’ is a ‘cultural reference’

DM

Canada’s minister of women and gender equality says her mention of the Taliban as “our brothers” during a press conference Wednesday is a “cultural reference,” after receiving criticism for her choice of language. Maryam Monsef […] had a direct message for the terrorist group, which has swiftly taken control of most of Afghanistan since the U.S. began withdrawing its troops following a 20-year mission. “I want to take this opportunity to speak with our brothers, the Taliban. We call on you to ensure the safe and secure passage of any individual in Afghanistan out of the country. We call on you to immediately stop the violence, the genocide, the femicide, the destruction of infrastructure, including heritage buildings,” she said, speaking alongside colleagues while providing an update about Canada’s efforts to evacuate Afghans from the country. When asked later if the term “brothers” reflected a softening of the government’s approach to the Taliban, she responded: “Hardly. The reference to brothers is a cultural reference of course but let me be very clear, we do not support the Taliban, we are horrified the hard-won gains of the past 20 years are at stake.”

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