Don’t link humanitarian aid to political issues, Taliban tell US

After two days of talks in Doha, US says the Taliban will be solely judged on actions


News Desk/Reuters October 11, 2021

The Taliban on Monday urged the full implementation of the Doha agreement, saying it was the “best way for resolving problems” that emerged after the takeover of Kabul by the group in August this year.

The remarks came after a two-day meeting between an Afghan Taliban delegation and a US delegation in Doha that was arranged to discuss political and other relevant issues.

In a statement, the foreign ministry of Afghanistan urged the global community not to link humanitarian assistance with political issues. “The US representatives stated that they will give humanitarian assistance to Afghans and will provide facilities for other humanitarian organisations to deliver aid.”

The Taliban said their government welcomed this assistance and it would “cooperate” with humanitarian groups to distribute this assistance in a transparent manner. The statement further said the Taliban will also “facilitate principled movement of foreign nationals”.

“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 statement added.

Read Taliban disperse women protesters with gunfire in Kabul

During the talks, it was agreed that such meetings will continue to be held in the future if required, the statement concluded.

‘Candid talks’

Meanwhile, the US said the first face-to-face meeting between senior US and Taliban officials since the group retook power in Afghanistan was "candid and professional" and that the US side reiterated that the Taliban would be judged on their actions, not just their words, reported Reuters.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said the US delegation at the weekend talks in Doha, Qatar, focused on security and terrorism concerns and safe passage for US citizens, other foreign nationals and Afghans, as well as on human rights, including the meaningful participation of women and girls in all aspects of Afghan society.

He said the two sides also discussed "the United States’ provision of robust humanitarian assistance, directly to the Afghan people".

"The discussions were candid and professional with the US delegation reiterating that the Taliban will be judged on its actions, not only its words," Price said in a statement.

On Saturday after the first day of the US-Taliban talks, the Taliban foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, warned the US not to "destabilise" the regime during their first face-to-face talks since the US withdrawal.

"Good relations with Afghanistan are good for everyone. Nothing should be done to weaken the existing government in Afghanistan which can lead to problems for the people," he had added.

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