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US resumes discussions with Taliban

The United States will resume discussions with the Taliban in Qatar next week to address the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and counterterrorism.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said on November 23 that the US delegation would be led by US special envoy for Afghanistan Tom West. The discussions, expected to last for two weeks, will focus on the “important national interests” of the two sides.

Discussions are expected to include counterterrorism operations against the Islamic State (IS) group and al-Qaeda, humanitarian assistance, Afghanistan’s devastated economy, and a safe route out of Afghanistan. for US citizens and Afghan nationals who have worked for the US for the past 20 years.

US State Department spokesman Ned Price spoke about the situation in Afghanistan in Washington on August 18. Photo: Reuters.

Two weeks ago, special envoy West also met with representatives of the Taliban in Pakistan. After the US withdrew its forces completely from Afghanistan and the Taliban took control of the country in August, the two sides held their first meeting in early October in the Qatari capital Doha, where American diplomats considered relations with Afghanistan amid the Taliban takeover of power.

West on November 19 reiterated the US conditions for the Taliban to receive financial and diplomatic support from them to fight terrorism, build an inclusive government, respect the rights of minorities, women and girls, and provide equitable access to education and employment. The special envoy said the US will continue to negotiate with the Taliban and is currently only providing humanitarian aid.

Amir Khan Muttaqi, the foreign minister of Afghanistan’s unrecognized interim government, last week sent an open letter to the US Congress calling for the return of frozen US assets from Afghanistan. After the Western-backed government collapsed in August, Afghanistan fell into a financial crisis, with banks imposing a withdrawal limit of $200-400 a week for each account.

The situation is exacerbated by Afghanistan’s lack of cash from abroad, when the United States imposed a blockade of $ 10 billion in its reserves. Financial institutions such as the World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) also prevent the Taliban government from accessing development aid committed to the previous government.

Luster (Follow AFP)


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