The United States said on Sunday that the first one-on-one meeting between senior US and Taliban officials since the radical group came to power in Afghanistan was “clear and professional” and the US side reiterated that the Taliban should be judged on their actions. Will be judged, not just their words.
The US delegation discussed security and terrorism concerns and safe passage for US citizens, other foreign nationals and Afghans, as well as the meaningful participation of women, on human rights, at the weekend’s talks in Doha, Qatar, a State Department statement said. be focused. Girls in all aspects of Afghan society.
It said the two sides also discussed US humanitarian aid to the Afghan people.
“The talks with the US delegation were frank and professional, reiterating that the Taliban will be judged not only on their actions, but also on their words,” the statement said.
On Saturday, Afghanistan’s acting foreign minister told Al Jazeera that Taliban representatives in talks asked the United States to lift sanctions on Afghan central bank reserves.
Biden administration officials told Reuters on Friday that the US delegation would pressure the Taliban to release kidnapped US citizen Mark Frerich. Another top priority will be to uphold its commitment to not allowing the Taliban to become a stronghold for al Qaeda or other extremists again.
The Taliban took back power in Afghanistan 20 years after being ousted in a US-led offensive for refusing to hand over al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
Officials said the meeting was a continuation of a “practical engagement” with the Taliban and was not about “recognizing or legitimizing” the group, which took control of Afghanistan in August.
US officials say they are in contact with dozens of Americans and legal permanent residents who want to leave Afghanistan and that the country still has thousands of US-allied Afghans at risk of Taliban persecution.
Washington and other Western countries are grappling with tough choices as a serious humanitarian crisis looms large in Afghanistan. They are trying to work out how to engage with the Taliban without giving legitimacy to the group, while ensuring the flow of humanitarian aid to the country.
(Except for the title, this story has not been edited by NB staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)