Washington: US officials will hold meetings with senior Taliban officials on Saturday and Sunday aimed at easing the evacuation of foreign nationals and at-risk Afghans from Afghanistan, a US official has said.
Talks in Doha, Qatar will focus on Afghanistan talks Taliban leader As for commitments that they will allow Americans and other foreign nationals to leave Afghanistan, as well as Afghans who once worked for the US military or government and other Afghan allies, the official said on Friday.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak by name about the meetings.
The Biden administration has filed questions and complaints about the slow pace of a smooth US evacuation from Taliban-ruled Afghanistan since the last US forces and diplomats left in late August.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said Thursday that 105 US citizens and 95 green-card holders have since moved on flights facilitated by the US. That number hadn’t changed for more than a week.
American veterans and other individuals have helped others leave the country on charter flights, and some Americans and others have crossed land borders.
That leaves dozens of US citizens still trying to get out, according to the State Department, with thousands of green-card holders and Afghans and family members deemed eligible for US visas. US officials have cited difficulty verifying flight manifests without any US officials on the ground in Afghanistan to help, among other hold-ups.
The official said the Americans also intend to pressure the Taliban to abide by the rights of women and girls, many of whom the Taliban are reportedly preventing from returning to jobs and classes, and Afghans at large, and To form an inclusive government, the official said.
US officials will also encourage Taliban officials to give humanitarian agencies free access to areas in need amid economic turmoil following the US departure and the Taliban takeover.
The official stressed that the session does not mean that the US is recognizing the Taliban as the country’s legitimate governors.