Senior Taliban officials and US representatives began talks in Qatar on Saturday to “open a new page” in relations between the two countries, according to Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaki, DW website reported.
The meetings, which began in Doha, are the first since US forces withdrew from Afghanistan in August, ending a 20-year military presence and the rise of the Taliban to power.
The Afghan delegation’s focus was on humanitarian aid, as well as implementing the agreement the Taliban signed with Washington last year, which paved the way for a final US withdrawal.
The minister said that the Afghan delegation asked the United States to lift the ban on the reserves of the Central Bank of Afghanistan, not to violate the airspace of Afghanistan and to refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of the nation. He added that the United States will offer Afghans vaccines against COVID-19.
A US government spokesman indicated that negotiations would focus on getting Taliban leaders to commit to allowing the evacuation of foreign nationals and Afghans who had previously worked for the United States.
The spokesman added that this meeting does not mean in any way recognition of the Taliban regime. He warned that “any legitimacy must be gained through the actions of the Taliban.”
The spokesperson added that US officials in the meeting will also pressure the Taliban to respect the rights of women and girls, form an inclusive government, and allow humanitarian agencies free access to areas in need.
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