For the first time since the withdrawal from Afghanistan, the United States held direct meetings with the delegation of the Taliban, the current rulers, in the Qatari capital, Doha. Afghan media quoted Foreign Minister Amir Chan Mottaki as saying that they demanded the release of Afghan assets. After the acquisition in August, about $9 billion in offshore banking assets were frozen.
The minister stressed that no one will benefit from attempts to weaken the current government. The Taliban also repeated their calls for more humanitarian aid. The Americans promised more help with Corona vaccines, according to the Afghan minister. The United States has not yet commented on the first round of talks.
Washington has previously said the talks are not about recognizing or legalizing the Taliban. Most important, the State Department said, is the safe passage of US citizens, other foreigners, and Afghans. It also seeks a guarantee from the Taliban that they will prevent terrorists from using Afghanistan to threaten the security of the United States or its allies.
The last US troops left Afghanistan at the end of August. This marked the end of the international military mission in the country after nearly two decades.
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