On Saturday, Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaki said the Taliban had warned in their first direct meeting since the US withdrawal against “destabilizing” the regime.
Mottaki’s comments come as the Taliban are trying to restore power in Afghanistan 20 years after driving out Islamist militants due to the US-led invasion.
“We made it clear to them that trying to destabilize the Afghan government is not in anyone’s interest,” Mottaki told the official Afghan news agency Bakhtar after talks in the Qatari capital, Doha.
Good relations with Afghanistan are good for everyone. “Nothing should be done to weaken the government in Afghanistan, which can cause problems for the people,” he said in a statement recorded by AFP.
Mottaki’s remarks came in the first two days of talks with a US team led by Assistant Special Envoy Tom West, and Sarah Charles, USAID’s chief humanitarian aid.
He said the United States would also help in vaccinating Afghans against Covid-19.
There was no immediate comment from the United States on the talks.
“The US delegation chose to work with us on vaccination and human cooperation,” Mottaki said.
He added, “It is promised that countries will have good relations with each other and be patient while Afghanistan is going through a very difficult period for Afghanistan to come out of this country more strongly.”
The extremist Taliban regained power in August when the United States ended its two-decade occupation with a retreat that included a chaotic airlift with foreign and Afghan residents.
attack on mosque
Their efforts to consolidate their regime were undermined by a series of attacks by the Islamic State in Khorasan (IS-K), which allegedly bombed a Shiite mosque killing more than 60 people on Friday.
The Afghan economy is on the verge of collapse, international aid is on hold, food prices are rising and unemployment is rising.
Mottaki said the Taliban wanted to hold meetings with other countries in addition to the United States to discuss Afghanistan’s problems.
“We are trying to hold such meetings and gatherings with the United States and other countries around the world and discuss the current situation in Afghanistan to listen to each other’s views,” Mottaki said.
The problems facing the Afghan people must be resolved, economically or otherwise. The current Afghan government is committed to maintaining good relations with other countries and cooperating with others, to support their people and provide them with services.
“That’s what we want and we’re trying to discuss these areas with other countries.”
Ahead of the talks, a US State Department official said his priorities were to ensure the safe passage of US citizens and others who wish to leave Afghanistan, and to ensure that the Taliban do not allow “terrorists” to operate on Afghan soil.
This meeting is not intended to confer recognition or legitimacy. “We remain clear that all legitimacy must be gained through the actions of the Taliban,” the official said.