Taliban meet Britain – diplomats speak of a ‘test’

Acceptance. The Taliban in Afghanistan met with Western diplomats in the hope of releasing frozen assets. Jemaah Islamiyah leaders met in Kabul on Tuesday for talks with Afghanistan Representative Simon Gass and Chargé d’Affairs at the British Mission to Afghanistan in Doha, Martin Longden. This was the first diplomatic visit of Great Britain to the country since the Taliban came to power in mid-August.

After the meeting, Longden tweeted that there had been “substantial discussions” with the Taliban leadership on a number of topics, including the humanitarian crisis, terrorism and the importance of safe passage for British and Afghan citizens. Another topic is the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan.

Longden described the meeting as a “test”

Longden did not comply with the Taliban’s desire to formally recognize their government. He described the meeting, however, as a “test”. Not surprisingly, there are differences with the Taliban. However, as such difficult challenges lie ahead in Afghanistan and beyond, it is right to consider whether one can connect in a practical way and find common ground – “in the interest of the UK and the Afghan people,” Longden wrote.

The Taliban declared that they wanted good relations with all countries. In return, they wanted the international community to return the money to the Afghan nation, adding billions of frozen assets in American accounts.

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