Meeting in Qatar: The United States announces talks with the Taliban

Status: 09.10.2021 02:37 AM

The United States announced talks with the Taliban in Qatar this weekend. According to the US State Department, the talks should not be understood as recognition of Taliban rule.

The United States announced the first direct talks with the radical Islamist Taliban movement since the United States withdrew from Afghanistan. In the evening, a US State Department spokesman said that a US delegation will meet with high-level representatives of the Taliban on Saturday and Sunday in the Qatari capital, Doha.

But the State Department stressed that the meeting does not mean that the United States will recognize the rule of the Taliban in Afghanistan. “We continue to believe that the Taliban should gain legitimacy through their actions,” the spokesman said. It is not yet clear who will represent the two sides.

The United States wants to push for humanitarian aid

“We will urge the Taliban to respect the rights of all Afghans, including women and girls, and to form an inclusive government with broad support,” the spokesman said. With Afghanistan facing a severe economic recession and a “potential humanitarian crisis”, he said, “we will urge the Taliban to give humanitarian organizations free access to areas in need.” The United States also wants to work to ensure that the Taliban guarantee the exit of American citizens and former local employees.

After NATO forces withdrew, the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in mid-August and have been fighting for international recognition of their government ever since. The United States has been in contact with the Taliban since the subsequent evacuation. At that time, the commander of the US Armed Forces Central Command, General Frank McKenzie, met with Taliban officials when US forces took control of the Kabul airport to organize a major airlift.

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According to the United States, the Taliban have so far cooperated largely in the departure of American citizens. However, the US government admitted that it was unable to persuade most of the local Afghan workers to leave the country via the express airlift.

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