United States officials will resume their talks with the Taliban next week in Qatar. This meet will focus, among other issues, on the fight against terrorism and the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.
State Department spokesman Ned Price confirmed Tuesday that Thomas West, the US special representative for Afghanistan, would lead the delegation during the planned two-week discussions.
“They’ll discuss … our vital national interests when it comes to Afghanistan,” said Price.
“That includes counterterrorism, that includes safe passage for U.S. citizens and for Afghans to whom we have a special commitment and that includes humanitarian assistance and the economic situation of the country.”
Two weeks ago, the US envoy Thomas West attended a meeting of the so-called extended Troika, which included Pakistan, China, Russia, and the United States. The group also met with senior Taliban leaders.
1/2 Joined extended Troika (US, Russia, China, Pakistan) in Islamabad. Parties reaffirmed centrality of Taliban fulfilling terrorism commitments, working w/fellow Afghans on inclusive governance, & protecting the rights of all Afghans, esp women & girls. https://t.co/cmzoKL6EGc pic.twitter.com/aavkkaYznA
— U.S. Special Representative Thomas West (@US4AfghanPeace) November 11, 2021
A first meeting of the two sides took place in the Qatari capital Doha on October 9-10, where, in the aftermath of the Taliban takeover, US diplomats overseeing Afghanistan’s relations have been transferred.
On Friday, western countries reiterated US conditions for the Taliban to receive financial and diplomatic support.
These conditions include: combating terrorism, implementing an inclusive government, respecting the rights of minorities, women, and girls, and providing equal access to education and employment.
The United States said that it will continue to have a dialogue with the Taliban and will provide humanitarian assistance for now.
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In an open letter to the US Congress, Amir Khan Muttaqi, the foreign minister of the Taliban government, which is still not recognised by the international community, called on the US to release Afghan assets frozen by the US.
(With inputs from agencies)