"Open and professional": USA assesses first Taliban meeting positively

For the first time since taking power in Afghanistan, the US is meeting with representatives of the Taliban. The exchange is part of the “pragmatic handling” with the terrorist militia. In addition to security and terrorism issues, there are also warning words.

The US has described the first personal talks with the militant Islamist Taliban since they came to power in Afghanistan in August as “open and professional”. At the weekend meeting in the Qatari capital Doha, the US delegation focused on security and terrorism issues, among other things, the US State Department said. It was also about the safe exit of US citizens, other foreign nationals and Afghan employees.

Another issue had been human rights, including the significant participation of women and girls in all areas of Afghan society. Both sides had also talked about stable US humanitarian aid for the people of Afghanistan, it said. In the talks, the US delegation emphasized that “the Taliban would be judged on their actions and not just on their words,” said State Department spokesman Ned Price.

The Taliban also rated the conversation as positive. The dialogue between delegations from the US and the Taliban “went well,” said a statement by the Afghan Foreign Ministry. During the talks, the Islamist delegation stated that humanitarian aid should not be linked to political issues. According to the Taliban statement, US officials pledged that they would provide humanitarian aid to Afghans and support other humanitarian organizations to provide relief. The Taliban welcomed this and stated that they wanted to work with aid organizations to provide aid in a transparent manner.

The “open” round of talks was a good opportunity for understanding and it was agreed that such talks would also be held in the future if necessary, the statement said. Efforts should be made to restore diplomatic relations to a better state. The declaration did not provide any information on other specific topics of discussion.

The militant Islamist Taliban had conquered large parts of the country after the withdrawal of the international NATO troops. On August 15, they entered the capital Kabul without a fight and have been ruling around 20 years after the US invasion. Your government is confronted with numerous problems and the country is threatened with an economic collapse.

The US State Department said on Friday that the talks in Doha would not be about recognizing or legitimizing the Taliban in Afghanistan. Rather, it is a continuation of the “pragmatic” talks on questions of US national interest.

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