- The U.S. delegation focused on security and terrorism issues
- It will urge the Taliban to release the abducted American Mark Friedrich
- The Taliban regained control of Afghanistan in August
The United States has said the first direct meeting between senior US and Taliban officials since the recapture of power in Afghanistan was “honest and professional.” Not just their words.
State Department spokesman Netflix said the U.S. delegation at the weekend talks in Doha, Qatar focused on security and terrorist concerns and safe guidance on human rights, including the meaningful participation of U.S. citizens, other foreign nationals, and Afghanistan and women. And women in all aspects of Afghan society.
“Both sides discussed the need for the United States to provide strong humanitarian assistance directly to the people of Afghanistan,” he said.
“The discussions are honest and professional, and the US delegates reiterate that they will be judged not only by the words of the Taliban, but also by its actions,” Price said in a statement.
It did not say whether any agreements had been reached.
On Saturday, Qatari-based Al Jazeera television quoted Afghanistan’s acting foreign minister as saying that Taliban representatives had asked the US side to lift the embargo on the central bank in Afghanistan.
It said that Minister Amerkan Mutaki had stated that Washington was providing corona virus vaccines to Afghanistan and discussed “opening a new page” between the two countries.
Biden executives told Reuters on Friday that the U.S. delegation would pressurize the Taliban to release the abducted U.S. Mark Freach. Another key priority is the Taliban’s determination not to allow Afghanistan to once again become a haven for Al Qaeda or other extremists.
The Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan in August, almost 20 years after they were removed from the US-led invasion for refusing to extradite al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
U.S. officials said the weekend meeting was a continuation of “practical engagement” with the Taliban and was not about “authorizing or legitimizing” the group.
U.S. officials say they have ties to dozens of Americans and legal permanent residents who want to leave Afghanistan, and thousands more U.S.-friendly Afghans in the United States are at risk of Taliban persecution.
Washington and other Western nations are facing tough choices as a serious humanitarian crisis looms in Afghanistan. While ensuring that humanitarian aid goes into the country, they are trying to figure out how to engage with the Taliban without giving the group the legal right to seek.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and published by Syndicate Feed.)