US to meet with Taliban representatives in Qatar: reports
A delegation of US officials will meet with representatives of the Taliban in Doha, Qatar this weekend, the first face-to-face meeting between officials from the two sides since the US withdrawal from Afghanistan in late August, multiple bodies reported. Press.
Two senior administration officials told Reuters that some of the people expected to attend the meetings were Tom West, deputy special representative for reconciliation in Afghanistan with the State Department, and Sarah Charles, assistant to the office administrator. humanitarian aid from USAID.
Reuters noted that the US special representative for reconciliation in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, would not be included in the delegation. He led the negotiations on the American side that led to a 2020 deal with the Taliban that created a timetable that would give the United States just over a year to leave Afghanistan, according to CNN.
It was not immediately clear who on the Taliban side would attend the talks, but the two senior administration officials told Reuters members of the Taliban cabinet would be present at the meeting.
A State Department official told CNN that topics to be discussed at the meeting included “the safe passage out of Afghanistan of the United States and other foreign nationals and Afghans to whom we have a commitment special who seek to leave the country “.
“As Afghanistan faces the prospect of a severe economic contraction and possible humanitarian crisis, we will also pressure the Taliban to allow humanitarian agencies free access to areas in need. “, the official told the network.
The official also told CNN that US officials will pressure the Taliban to ensure the insurgent group respects the rights of girls and women and push the Taliban to assure them that Afghanistan does not experience a resurgence. terrorist activities.
“This meeting is not about granting recognition or conferring legitimacy. We remain clear that all legitimacy must be gained through the Taliban’s own actions. They must build a lasting record,” a senior official told Reuters administration.
The Hill has contacted the State Department for comment.
The announcement comes as nearly 800 Americans and Afghan allies have safely arrived in Qatar from two chartered planes.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said the number of Americans seeking to leave Afghanistan continues to be “dynamic,” but noted that 105 US citizens and 95 lawful permanent residents had been evacuated thanks to direct facilitation efforts led by the US government since August 31.