US to resume talks with Taliban next week in Qatar

Nov 24, 2021: The US will resume talks with the Taliban in Qatar next week, which will address issues such as the war on terror and the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

The US delegation will be led by US Special Representative for Afghanistan Tom West, State Department spokesman Ned Price said Tuesday.

The two sides will discuss “our vital national interests”, including counter-terrorism operations against the Islamic State group and al Qaeda, humanitarian aid, Afghanistan’s shattered economy, and a safe passage from Afghanistan for American citizens and Afghans. Particularly those who have worked for the United States during the 20-year war.

Two weeks ago, West met with Taliban representatives in Pakistan. The first meeting between the two sides took place in Doha, the capital of Qatar, on October 9-10, where US diplomats overseeing relations with Afghanistan were transferred after the Taliban took over.

West on Friday reiterated US conditions for receiving US financial and diplomatic support for the Taliban: fighting terrorism, establishing a comprehensive government, respecting the rights of minorities, women and girls, and equal education and employment access. He said the United States would continue talks with the Taliban and would only provide humanitarian assistance for the time being.

The Taliban’s foreign minister, Amir Khan Mottaki, who is not recognized by the international community, wrote an open letter to the US Congress last week demanding the release of US-frozen Afghan assets.

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