– The United States has announced it will hold talks with the Taliban in Qatar
A U.S. delegation meets senior Taliban officials in Qatar over the weekend. According to the United States, this is not recognition of the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan.
The United States has announced the first direct talks with the radical Islamic Taliban since its withdrawal from Afghanistan. The U.S. delegation will meet with top Taliban representatives in the Qatari capital, Doha, on Saturday and Sunday, according to a US State Department spokesman. However, the State Department insisted that the meeting did not mean that the United States would recognize Taliban rule in Afghanistan.
“We still consider the Taliban to have earned their legitimacy through their own actions,” the spokesman said. It is not yet clear who will represent both sides.
The United States asserts the rights of all Afghans
“We urge the Taliban to respect all the rights of Afghanistan, including women and girls, and to form a government with broad support,” the spokesman said. “As Afghanistan faces a severe economic downturn and a” potential humanitarian crisis, “we urge the Taliban to provide free access to areas where humanitarian organizations are needed,” he said. The United States wants to work to ensure that the Taliban guarantee the eviction of U.S. citizens and former local employees.
After the withdrawal of NATO troops, the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan in mid-August and have been fighting for the international recognition of their government ever since. The United States has been in contact with the Taliban since the subsequent expulsion. At the time, General Frank McKenzie, commander of the U.S. Armed Forces Central Command, was meeting with Taliban officials as U.S. troops arranged a large air transport to Kabul airport.
According to the United States, the Taliban have so far largely cooperated in the evacuation of American citizens. However, the US government has acknowledged that most Afghan workers do not want to leave the country on emergency flights.