Taliban: US has agreed to provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan

The US has agreed to provide humanitarian aid but refused to give political recognition to Afghanistan’s new rulers, the Taliban says.

The statement came at the end of the first direct talks between the former foes since the chaotic withdrawal of Coalition troops at the end of August.

The Taliban said the talks held in Doha, Qatar, “went well,” with Washington freeing up humanitarian aid to Afghanistan after agreeing not to link such assistance to formal recognition of the Taliban.

The US statement was less definitive, saying only the two sides “discussed the United States’ provision of robust humanitarian assistance, directly to the Afghan people”.

The United States made it clear the talks were in no way a preamble to recognition of the Taliban, who swept to power in mid August after the government collapsed.

Ned Price
US State Department spokesman Ned Price says the treatment of Afghan women and girls was part of the discussions.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price called the discussions “candid and professional”, with the US side reiterating that they would be judged on their actions, not only their words.

“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 in a statement.

Taliban political spokesman Suhail Shaheen also said the group’s interim foreign minister assured the US during the talks that the Taliban were committed to seeing that Afghan soil was not used by extremists to launch attacks against other countries.

On Saturday, however, the Taliban ruled out cooperating with Washington on containing Islamic State, which is becoming increasingly active in Afghanistan.

IS, an enemy of the Taliban, has claimed responsibility for a number of recent attacks, including an explosion in an Afghan mosque that killed more than 40 people. Washington considers IS its greatest terrorist threat emanating from Afghanistan.

“We are able to tackle Daesh independently,” Mr Shaheen said, referring to the group by another name when asked whether the Taliban would work with the US to contain it.

During the meeting, US officials were expected to press the Taliban to allow Americans and others to leave Afghanistan.

In their statement, the Taliban said without elaborating they would “facilitate principled movement of foreign nationals”.


Arab Observer

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