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Afghanistan: First direct talks between the US and Taliban since US departure

by Lester Blair
The Taliban's acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi.
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Taliban rulings claim that the US has agreed to humanitarian aid for Afghanistan.

This statement was made at the conclusion of direct negotiations in Qatar since August, when US troops had left Afghanistan.

The talks were not limited to aid but also focused on the containment of extremist groups as well as the evacuations of US citizens.

Officials from the US described the conversations as open and professional but said that Taliban actions would determine their judgment.

According to the US, the US claims that the Taliban were not recognized at the meeting.

The Taliban released a statement on Sunday night stating that the US representatives had stated they would provide humanitarian aid to Afghans as well as facilities to allow other humanitarian organizations to distribute aid.

In addition, it stated that it will “cooperate in the delivery of humanitarian assistance to those who are deserving transparently and will facilitate foreign nationals’ principled movement”.

The Taliban’s claim to aid has not been confirmed by the US.

Ned Price, spokesperson for the Taliban said the sides discussed providing “strong humanitarian aid directly to Afghans,” but did not provide further information.

He said that “the US delegation concentrated on security and terrorist concerns, safe passage for US Citizens, foreign citizens, and our Afghan partners as well as human Rights, including meaningful participation of women, girls, and all aspects of Afghan Society”.

As aid workers in Afghanistan fear a serious humanitarian crisis, the talks took place.

At a UN donor conference in Geneva last month, Antonio Guterres stated that poverty was on the rise and that public services are at risk of collapse.

Following the Taliban’s capture of Kabul on August 15, the US frozen assets belonging to the central bank in the amount of $10 billion.

According to Jeremy Bowen, a BBC reporter from Kabul who reported on the Afghan capital, starvation is the top priority of the Kabul’s poor,

The Taliban rejected cooperation with Washington at the Qatar meeting to combat the Islamic State’s activities in Khorasan Province. (ISIS-K).

Nonetheless, Suhail Shaheen from the Taliban, Qatar’s spokesperson, said to the Associated Press, “able to deal with Daesh alone”.

Following Friday’s ISIS K suicide bomb attack in Kunduz, which killed more than 50 civilians in an unprecedented attack that was as deadly as any since US troop withdrawal from the country in 2016, Mr Shaheen spoke out.

The explosion at Said Abad mosque that was used by minority Shia Muslim communities left more than 100 people injured.

Source: BBC.com

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