USA to hold first in-person talks with Taliban since Afghan withdrawal

USA to hold first in-person talks with Taliban since Afghan withdrawal


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US will hold the first in-person talks with the Taliban leaders in Qatar’s capital of Doha, over the weekend. Reports said that will be aimed at easing the evacuations of the foreign citizens and at-risk Afghans from Afghanistan.

The US said that this meeting over the weekend didn’t indicate that it was recognizing Taliban rule in Afghanistan.

The spokesperson said, “We remain clear that any legitimacy must be earned through the Taliban's own actions.”

An official said that the weekend talks will focus on holding Taliban leaders to commitments that they would allow Americans and other foreign nationals to leave Afghanistan. US also wants to press Taliban to observe rights of women and girls, who have been barred from returning to jobs and schools, and of Afghans at large - the state department spokesperson said.

"We will press the Taliban to respect the rights of all Afghans, including women and girls, and to form an inclusive government with broad support," the spokesperson was quoted saying. "As Afghanistan faces the prospect of a severe economic contraction and possible humanitarian crisis, we will also press the Taliban to allow humanitarian agencies free access to areas of need," the spokesperson added.

The high-level U.S. delegation will include officials from State Department, U.S. Agency for International Development and U.S. intelligence community, and they will press Taliban to ensure continued safe passage for U.S. citizens and others out of Afghanistan and to release the kidnapped U.S. citizen Mark Frerichs.

US said that Taliban have cooperated on letting American citizens leave Afghanistan. It has also said that it couldn’t evacuate most Afghan allies during an airlift in August that pulled thousands of people out of Kabul before withdrawal of American troops from there.