The United States said on Sunday that the first face-to-face meeting between senior US officials and the Taliban since the hardline group regained power in Afghanistan was “sincere and professional” and that the US side reiterated that the Taliban would be tried for their actions. . not just his words.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said the U.S. delegation at the weekend talks in Doha, Qatar, focused on security and terrorism concerns and the safe passage of U.S. citizens, other foreign nationals and Afghans, as well as on human rights, including meaningful participation of women. and girls in all aspects of Afghan society.
He said the two sides also discussed “the provision of robust humanitarian aid by the United States, directly to the Afghan people.”
“The discussions were candid and professional and the US delegation reiterated that the Taliban will be judged for their actions, not just their words,” Price said in a statement.
He did not say whether any agreement was reached.
On Saturday, Qatari television Al Jazeera quoted Afghanistan’s acting foreign minister as saying that Taliban representatives called on the US side to lift the ban on Afghan central bank reserves.
He said that the minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, also said that Washington would offer vaccines against the Afghan coronavirus and that the two sides discussed “opening a new page” between the two countries.
Biden administration officials told Reuters on Friday that the US delegation would pressure the Taliban to release kidnapped American Mark Frerichs. Another top priority would be to keep the Taliban in their commitment not to allow Afghanistan to once again become a hotbed for Al Qaeda or other extremists.
The Taliban regained power in Afghanistan in August, nearly 20 years after they were toppled in a US-led invasion for refusing to hand over Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden following the September 11, 2001 attacks on USA.
US officials said the weekend’s meeting was a continuation of “pragmatic commitments” to the Taliban and “not about granting recognition or conferring legitimacy” to the group.
US officials say they are in contact with dozens of Americans and legal permanent residents who want to leave Afghanistan and that thousands of US-allied Afghans are still at risk of persecution from the Taliban in the country.
Washington and other Western countries are grappling with tough decisions as a serious humanitarian crisis looms over Afghanistan. They are trying to find a way to interact with the Taliban without giving the group the legitimacy it seeks, while also ensuring that humanitarian aid flows into the country.