A round of talks between US representatives and the Taliban concluded on October 10th, making it the first time the two sides negotiate after the group took over Afghanistan in August.
Local media reporting from Doha said that the Afghan delegation had described the two-day bilateral talks as “positive.”
The Taliban said the talks “went well,” with Washington freeing up the flow of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan after agreeing not to link such assistance to the formal recognition of the Taliban.
The Afghan delegation, led by Acting Foreign Minister Mullah Amir Khan Muttaqi, had come to Doha seeking US and international recognition, which could lead to international financial support.
In regard to the evacuation of Afghans and foreign nationals, the Taliban reiterated that they would “facilitate principled movement of foreign nationals.”
US officials said the Doha talks were a continuation of “pragmatic engagements” with the group and “not about granting recognition or conferring legitimacy” to the Taliban.
The US delegation focused on security and terrorism concerns and safe passage for US citizens, other foreign nationals and our Afghan partners, as well as on human rights, including the meaningful participation of women and girls in all aspects of Afghan society,” he said.
“The two sides also discussed the United States’ provision of robust humanitarian assistance, directly to the Afghan people.”
The US-Taliban agreement, negotiated in 2020, had called for a coalition government led by the government of Afghanistan, which rapidly collapsed on August 15.
The then-President Ashraf Ghani fled the country in the face of lightning advances by the Taliban, which followed US President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw the US-led NATO troops.
“The US delegation focused on security and terrorism concerns and safe passage for US citizens, other foreign nationals and our Afghan partners, as well as on human rights, including the meaningful participation of women and girls in all aspects of Afghan society,” said Ned Price, spokesman for the US State Department.
Price said the Taliban would be judged based on their actions, not only their words.
The Afghan delegation was asking the US to end economic sanctions and to “unfreeze” some $10bn worth of assets.
The Taliban announced its all-male Cabinet last month, but it has struggled to govern amid a liquidity crisis after it was cut off from the international financial institutions, such as IMF and World Bank.
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