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Talks with US to continue if necessary: Taliban

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Kabul, Oct 11, 2021- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the caretaker Taliban government in Afghanistan said on Monday that talks with the US will continue if necessary.

Over the weekend, a Taliban delegation led by Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, met a US inter-agency delegation in Doha, Qatar, reports Xinhua news agency.

“The Two-day dialogue between the delegations of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) and the US went well. Political issues were discussed in detail during the meeting and full implementation of the Doha agreement was considered by the Islamic Emirate as the best way for resolving problems,” the Ministry said in a statement.

The American representatives, according to the statement, said that the US will give humanitarian assistance to Afghans and will provide facilities for other humanitarian organisations to deliver aid.

“Humanitarian assistance should not be linked with political issues,” the statement noted.

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IAE) has welcomed US assistance and it will cooperate with charitable groups in delivering humanitarian assistance, and will facilitate principled movement of foreign nationals, the statement said.

“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 meeting in which talks were candid was considered a good opportunity of understanding” and it was agreed that such meetings will continue to be held in the future if necessary,” the Ministry statement added.

The meeting marked the first in-person gathering between officials of the US and the Taliban since the American withdrawal from Afghanistan at the end of August which led to the Taliban to completely take over the country.

The Taliban government’s statement came just hours after the US State Department said that the talks were “candid and professional”.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a readout on Sunday that the American delegation focused on security and terrorism concerns, safe passage for US citizens, other foreign nationals, and Afghan partners, as well as human rights and humanitarian assistance issues.

Price noted that “the US delegation reiterating that the Taliban will be judged on its actions, not only its words”.

The Taliban delegation also urged the US side to respect the sovereignty of Afghanistan’s airspace and not to interfere in its affairs, he said, stressing the focus was on humanitarian aid and the implementation of all provisions of the Doha Agreement concluded between the two sides in February 2020.

The State Department said on Friday that the meeting in Doha “is a continuation of the pragmatic engagements” between two sides but not “granting recognition or conferring legitimacy” to the Taliban, which took over Afghanistan in mid-August and announced an interim government in early September. (Agency)

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