Taliban leaders meet with British officials

Taliban leaders met with British officials on Tuesday for the first time since they took control of Afghanistan, a measure the movement hopes will pave the way for the nation to refill its coffers, which is on the verge of economic collapse.

Meanwhile, the Taliban reported that they had arrested 11 ISIS members.

The Taliban’s meeting with British diplomats in the capital, Kabul, came a day after they met an Iranian delegation, another event for the first time since they took power, to discuss trade relations, a major driver of Afghanistan’s economy. .

The Taliban met Jimon Gass, the British Prime Minister’s High Representative for the Afghan Transition, and Martin Longden, Chargé d’Affairs of the British Mission in Afghanistan, in Doha, Qatar.

The meeting marks Britain’s first diplomatic visit to the nation since the Taliban took control of Kabul on August 15, and assumed control of the country after the withdrawal of American soldiers.

After the meeting, Longden tweeted that they had “important discussions” with Taliban leaders, covering a wide range of topics, including the humanitarian crisis, terrorism, the importance of safe behavior for British and Afghans, and the rights of women and individuals. girls.

But he did not formally recognize his government, which the Taliban want, and called the meeting a “test”.

“It is very early days, and of course there are points of disagreement between us. But very difficult challenges lie ahead in Afghanistan (and beyond). The right thing to do is to test whether we can engage pragmatically and find common ground, for the benefit of both the UK and the Afghan people. ”

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The Taliban said in a statement that it is committed to good relations with all countries. “In return, we want the international community to return the cash capital of the Afghan nation to our country,” he said, referring to billions of dollars in Afghan assets frozen in US accounts.


Associated Press reporters Rahim Fayez in Istanbul and Mamoun Youssef in Cairo contributed to this report.

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