'Absolutely false': US categorically denies funding Afghan Taliban amid human rights concerns

Miller cited UN report on Taliban's arbitrary morality code undermining Afghan human rights, especially girls.

News Desk July 10, 2024
Mathew Miller, US Department of State. July 8, 2024.

The US State Department has reaffirmed that it does "not support the Taliban", clarifying that no funding is provided to the group.

"We do not provide any funding to the Taliban. That is absolutely false," stated spokesperson Matt Miller during a press briefing on July 10.

During the press briefing, a journalist raised concerns about misinformation from a recent interview with a Taliban senior official conducted by a retired Pakistani government employee turned YouTuber. He said the Taliban spokesperson falsely claimed that there are 90,000 female teachers in Afghanistan, whereas these teachers are actually sitting at home receiving salaries from the government without working.

The journalist highlighted that despite the US providing $800 million through USAID and $300 million from the State Department, Afghan girls remain without education.

Miller referenced a recent UN report highlighting the unpredictable and arbitrary enforcement of the Taliban's so-called morality code, which undermines the human rights of all Afghans, particularly women and girls.

"We continue to monitor closely the Taliban’s treatment of the people of Afghanistan, especially their treatment of Afghan women and girls," he noted. The US expects the Taliban to honour their commitments to the Afghan people and the international community.

During the press briefing, Miller expressed condolences for the loss of a Pakistani senator in an IED blast and a captain in recent terrorist attacks in Pakistan's tribal areas.

He acknowledged the significant suffering of the Pakistani people due to terrorism and reaffirmed the shared interest in combating regional security threats.

"We partner with a range of Pakistani civilian institutions and regularly engage the Government of Pakistan to identify opportunities to build capacity and strengthen regional security," Miller stated.

When questioned about the safety and justice for journalists, particularly in light of a Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif being killed in Kenya, Miller avoided commenting on specific cases but reiterated the US support for journalists globally.

"We support the work of journalists around the world and think that it’s important that they be able to do their job safely," he stressed.

Miller confirmed ongoing discussions with Turkey regarding the Gaza ceasefire and subsequent reconstruction plans.

He mentioned Secretary Blinken's meeting with Turkish President Erdogan and Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan, emphasizing the shared goal of achieving a durable end to the conflict with robust security, governance, and reconstruction plans for Gaza.

Addressing changes in the US State Department's team handling North Korea, Miller confirmed Dr. Jung Pak's resignation and Assistant Secretary Dan Kritenbrink taking over DPRK policy oversight. Ambassador Julie Turner and Seth Bailey continue their respective roles, with no new personnel announcements at this time.

Miller refrained from commenting on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's suggestion to Russian President Vladimir Putin regarding a barter trade system to counter Western financial sanctions.


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