October 9. 2021 13:24
A US delegation wants to meet with high-ranking Taliban representatives this weekend for the first time since the withdrawal from Afghanistan. The meeting will be held in the Qatari capital, Doha. Talks should be about more evacuations.
The first personal talks between US representatives and the Taliban since the US withdrawal from Afghanistan are being held in Doha. As the US State Department spokesperson said in the evening, the meeting in the Qatari capital should not be about recognizing or legitimizing the rule of the Islamist extremist group in Afghanistan. Instead, the United States wants to urge the Taliban during the talks to ensure that more American citizens and their Afghan allies can leave Afghanistan safely if they want to leave the country. It is estimated that dozens of Americans and thousands of Afghans and their families eligible for the airlift have been abandoned in the wake of the frantic US evacuation.
According to a report from the news agency Reuters The high-level US delegation is said to include officials from the State Department, the US Agency for Development, and US intelligence agencies.
During the meeting, the US wants to pressure the extremist conservative Islamist group to “respect the rights of all Afghans, including women and girls” and “form an inclusive government with broad support,” to explain A spokesman for the US State Department told the news agency France Press agency. The Taliban have filled top positions in Afghanistan’s new interim government, announced last month, from among its ranks, including an ally of the militant group’s founder as prime minister and a man named on the US terrorism list as interior minister. There are no outside figures or women in the cabinet.
The spokesman added that US officials will also try to persuade the Taliban to “give humanitarian organizations free access to the affected areas” in order to avoid a possible “humanitarian crisis”. According to the spokesperson, the first face-to-face meeting between the two sides since the chaotic US-led evacuation at the end of August should not mean that Washington, DC, is ready to recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan. Instead, the Taliban will have to “gain” legitimacy in the eyes of the US political elite through their “actions,” the spokesperson continued.
The Taliban now controls virtually all of Afghanistan. The Taliban had ruled the country in the 1990s before losing political power in the country as a result of the US invasion in 2001. A senior US government official said Reuters:
“This meeting is a continuation of the pragmatic discussions we had with the Taliban on issues of vital US national interest.”
While the US was just announcing the high-level talks, the Doha-based Taliban spokesman and candidate for UN representation, Sohail Shaheen, said on Thursday that he had already held a meeting with envoys and official representatives from several Western countries. Including the European Union, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Canada, the United Kingdom and even the United States itself, he was in Doha.
1/4 Today I have met with ambassadors and representatives from various countries including the European Union, Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States of America here in Doha. The other members of the IAEA delegation consisted of Maulvi Mattiul-Haq, President of the Republic of Afghanistan pic.twitter.com/6aGALjKn6J
Sohail Shaheen. Muhammad Suhail Shaheen (@suhailshaheen1) October 7, 2021
Following statements by US officials, Shaheen said that “the country is in dire need of humanitarian assistance” and stressed that the Taliban “is ready to work with the international community” after discussing the matter with the head of the Afghan Red Crescent Society.
At the meeting, organized by the Center for Conflict and Humanitarian Studies, Shaheen also called for Afghanistan not to be isolated under Taliban rule, but to make it an integral part of the international community. He wrote in a statement on Twitter:
“Isolating Afghanistan has proven to be a failed policy in the past that no one has benefited from. No one wants that.”
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