High-level Taliban delegation to meet US representatives in Doha for talks

Kabul, Jul 27 (EFE).- A high-level Taliban government delegation will meet with representatives of the United States later this week in Doha to hold talks on issues of mutual interest, a Taliban spokesperson said on Thursday.

“An Afghan delegation led by Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Foreign Minister Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi will visit Doha at the end of July and hold talks with American officials on issues of interest,” foreign ministry spokesperson Abdul Qahar Balkhi said in a statement.

Balkhi that underlined “Afghanistan’s priority during talks are ending sanctions and blacklists, unfreezing Afghanistan’s bank reserves and stopping the violation of Afghanistan’s airspace (by US forces).”

Earlier on Wednesday, the US state department said that Washington’s special representative for Afghanistan, Thomas West, and special envoy for Afghan women, girls, and human rights – Rina Amiri – would meet with Taliban representatives in Qatar “to discuss critical interests in Afghanistan.”

“Priority issues will include humanitarian support for the people of Afghanistan, economic stabilization, fair and dignified treatment of all Afghans, including women and girls, security issues, and efforts to counter narcotics production and trafficking,” the state department noted.

However, the department clarified that the meeting in Doha does not signal a change in US policy towards the Taliban regime.

“We have been very clear that we will engage with the Taliban appropriately when it is in our interest. This is not intended to mean any kind of indication of recognition, normalization or legitimacy of the Taliban,” deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel said on Wednesday in a press conference.Patel said that the “egregious human rights abuses,” marginalization of women and girls (by the Taliban) and many other issues continue to be of “immense concern to the United States” since the Taliban has returned to power in August 2021.

Despite promising a softer approach compared to their previous regime between 1996 and 2001, the Taliban have continued to strip Afghans, particularly women and girls, of their basic and fundamental rights.

Meanwhile, restoration of human rights and formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan have been the main demands of the international community to recognize the Taliban government. EFE


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