On Sunday, the United States said the first-ever face-to-face meeting between senior officials of the U.S. and the Taliban since the organisation was restored to power in Afghanistan was candid and professional. The U.S. emphasises that the Taliban will be judged by their actions and not by their words.
During the weekend talks at Doha, Qatar, State Department spokesman, Ned Price, said the U.S. delegation concentrated on security and terrorism matters and safe passage for U.S. citizens, foreign nationals, and Afghans. They also discussed issues on human rights, which includes the participation of women and girls in all phases of Afghan society.
He stated that the two sides also addressed “the United States’ provision of robust humanitarian assistance, directly to the Afghan people.” “The discussions were candid and professional with the U.S. delegation reiterating that the Taliban will be judged on its actions, not only its words,” Price said in a statement.
It did not reveal if any agreements were made. On Saturday, Al Jazeera quoted Afghanistan’s acting foreign minister saying the Taliban representatives requested the U.S. to lift a ban on the Afghan central bank reserves.
It also stated that the minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said Washington would grant the Afghans of the COVID-19 vaccines and that there were discussions on opening a new page between both the countries. On Friday, Officials of the Biden administration told Reuters that the U.S. delegation will pressure the Taliban to release abducted American Mark Frerichs.
Another significance is holding the Taliban to their responsibility to disable Afghanistan from becoming Al Qaeda’s haven or other extremist groups again. In August, the Taliban took control over Afghanistan, after almost 20 years after they were evicted during the U.S. invasion for not handing over Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden after the September 11 attacks.
The U.S. officials stated that the weekend meeting was a sequence of “pragmatic engagements” with the Taliban and “not about granting recognition or conferring legitimacy” to the organisation.
U.S. officials say they remain in contact with dozens of Americans and legal permanent residents who want to leave Afghanistan, and there are thousands of U.S. allied Afghans under the risk of Taliban persecuting present in the country.
Western countries continue to grapple with challenging choices as severe humanitarian crises rise heavily in Afghanistan. They are in the process of working out with engaging with the Taliban without granting legitimacy that it seeks while assuring humanitarian aid is passing through the country.