It will be the second round of talks between the United States and the Taliban in Qatar since the group took over Afghanistan in August.
The United States is set to resume talks with the Taliban in Qatar next week, discussing the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and steps to ensure that the country does not become a “launching pad” for “terrorism”, said State Department spokesman Ned Price, I said.
The U.S. delegation will be led by the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan, Tom West, in the planned two-day talks, Price said Tuesday.
“They will discuss … our vital national interest when it comes to Afghanistan. It includes counter-terrorism, which includes safe passage for American citizens and for Afghans, to whom we have a special obligation, and it includes humanitarian aid and the country’s economic situation. , ”Price told reporters.
West, who replaced Zalmay Khalilzad in the role in October, had most recently met with Taliban representatives in Pakistan in early November.
Before taking on the role, he had also met with Taliban officials in Qatar as part of a US delegation. That session was held from October 9 to 10 in the Qatari capital Doha as US diplomats sought to develop informal relations with the new Taliban government.
U.S. officials had previously spent months negotiating with a Taliban delegation in Qatar and reached an agreement in February 2020 that preceded the US withdrawal and possible Taliban takeover.
The Taliban then took control of the country in mid-August this year, days before US and international troops withdrew from Afghanistan 20 years after a military invasion overthrew the Taliban regime in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
On Wednesday, the Taliban said the upcoming meetings would open a “new chapter” in political relations with Washington.
“A new phase of negotiations will begin next week between Afghanistan and America in Qatar,” the Taliban said on their official Arab Twitter account.
“At this stage, the negotiations will address the opening of a new chapter in political relations between the two countries, the resolution of economic issues and the implementation of the terms of the previous Doha Agreement.”
The United States has not officially recognized the Taliban government, but announced in early November that Qatar would serve as Washington’s diplomatic representative in the country.
The United States has repeatedly set conditions for the Taliban to receive financial and diplomatic support from Washington: fight “terrorism”, set up an inclusive government, respect the rights of minorities, women and girls, and provide equal access to education and employment.
The US envoy West said last week that Washington planned to continue the dialogue with the Taliban, but so far it will only provide humanitarian aid.
The Taliban, meanwhile, has increasingly called on the United States to release $ 9.5 billion. in frozen assets.
Afghanistan’s aid – dependent economy has virtually collapsed – with unpaid officials for months and the Treasury unable to pay for imports.
In a letter to the US Congress, Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi warned last week that the country’s economic insecurity would continue to exacerbate an ongoing humanitarian crisis that could prompt further mass migration.