Ottawa – Diplomats from Canada and other Western countries met with Taliban officials in Qatar on Thursday to discuss humanitarian aid for the war-torn country as the economic situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate.
The Canadian government is ready to provide assistance to the United Nations and non-governmental organizations to help the people of Afghanistan, but in an interview aired on Granthshala’s Question Hour on Sunday morning, Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominique LeBlanc says the government will help or will not give money directly to Taliban
“I can’t imagine that we will send aid to the Afghan people through the Taliban, … if we can support the Afghan people in a multilateral way with other partners,” LeBlanc said.
According to a senior government source, the meeting also discussed allowing Afghans working for the Canadian military to leave the country.
Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen tweeted photos from the meeting, showing the presence of Western diplomats from several countries, including the United States, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Canada.
“The participants reiterated their commitment to continuing humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. I have made them (Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan) a reality and we stand ready to engage with the international community and resolve issues through dialogue and understanding based on mutual interests and positive dialogue. Shaheen tweeted.
Granthshala News identified one of Canada’s representatives at the meeting as Ottawa’s special envoy to Afghanistan, David William Sproul, who previously served as Canada’s ambassador to Afghanistan from October 6, 2005 to April 17, 2007. .
This is not Sproul’s first meeting with the Taliban since taking control of Afghanistan. According to the Globe and Mail, Sproul spoke with top Taliban officials on August 30 about issues related to the Kabul airport.
LeBlanc says he thinks it is “responsible” for Canada to participate in talks with allies and the Taliban about humanitarian aid, but that talks do not help legitimize the Taliban.
“This is by no means an indication that our government has any intention of recognizing the Taliban as a legitimate government in Afghanistan, they live under Canadian law, a listed terrorist organization, and it will certainly remain so.” ,” LeBlanc said.
With files from Granthshala Ottawa Bureau Chief Joyce Napier and Granthshala News ‘Sarah Turnbull’