Domestic

Taliban urge US not to link aid to political issues

 Two-day talks with the US were held in a pleasant atmosphere, says Afghanistan’s foreign ministry: Photo: file   

DOHA: The two-day round of talks between the Afghan Taliban and the US officials concluded in Doha, Qatar.

In a statement issued Monday, the Afghan foreign ministry said the talks with the US officials were held in a pleasant atmosphere.

During the meeting, the Taliban delegation urged Washington that aid should not be linked to political issues.

It welcomed the US offer of humanitarian assistance and said local authorities would facilitate delivery and cooperate with aid groups but said such assistance “should not be linked to political issues”.

“Detailed discussions were held during the meeting about all relevant issues. And efforts should be exerted to restore diplomatic relations to a better state,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that similar meetings would be held in future if required.

The statement further said that the US delegation was told that the Doha agreement implementation is the only way to solving current problems.

‘Talks focused on security and safe passage for US citizens’

US officials have met with senior Taliban representatives in Qatar to discuss security and human rights in Afghanistan, the State Department had said Sunday.

A US interagency delegation flew to Doha on Saturday and Sunday for talks “focused on security and terrorism concerns and safe passage for US citizens, other foreign nationals and our Afghan partners,” according to State Department spokesman Ned Price.

Other areas of focus were “human rights, including the meaningful participation of women and girls in all aspects of Afghan society,” Price had said in a statement.

The two sides had also discussed “the United States´ provision of robust humanitarian assistance, directly to the Afghan people.”

According to the State Department, the discussions were “candid and professional” and US officials reiterated that “the Taliban will be judged on its actions, not only its words.”

The Taliban were seeking international recognition, as well as assistance to avoid a humanitarian disaster, after they returned to power in August following the withdrawal of US troops following 20 years of war.

Source: The News

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