US announces resumption of talks with Afghan Taliban next week

Afghan Taliban leaders in Doha.  Photo file
Afghan Taliban leaders in Doha. Photo file
  • The US delegation will be led by US Special Representative for Afghanistan Tom West for the scheduled two-week talks.
  • The two sides will discuss various issues, including counterterrorism operations and humanitarian aid.
  • Tom West met with representatives of the Afghan Taliban two weeks ago in Pakistan.

WASHINGTON: The United States announced Wednesday that it will resume talks with the Afghan Taliban next week in Qatar to address, among other things, the fight against terrorism and the humanitarian crisis in the country.

The US delegation will be led by US Special Representative for Afghanistan Tom West for the two-week scheduled talks, State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Tuesday.

The two sides will discuss “our vital national interests,” which include counterterrorism operations against ISIS and Al Qaeda, humanitarian aid, Afghanistan’s devastated economy and Afghanistan’s safe passage for citizens. Americans and Afghans who worked for the United States during the 20 Years War.

West met two weeks ago in Pakistan with representatives of the Taliban who seized power in August as US forces completed their withdrawal.

A first session between the two parties was held on October 9 and 10 in the Qatari capital Doha, where American diplomats overseeing relations with Afghanistan were transferred after the Taliban takeover.

West reiterated on Friday the US conditions for the Taliban to receive US financial and diplomatic support: fighting terrorism, installing an inclusive government, respecting the rights of minorities, women and girls, and providing equal access to education. and employment.

He said the United States would continue to engage with the Taliban and provide only humanitarian assistance for now.

Amir Khan Muttaqi, foreign minister in the Taliban government, which is unrecognized by the international community, last week called in an open letter to the US Congress for the release of frozen Afghan assets by the United States.

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