The Taliban said on Sunday that the US has agreed to provide humanitarian aid to a desperately poor Afghanistan on the brink of economic disaster, while refusing to give political recognition to the country’s new Taliban rulers.
The statement came at the end of the first direct talks between former enemies since the chaotic withdrawal of US troops in late August.
There was no immediate comment from the US on the weekend meeting.
The Taliban said the talks in Doha Qatar, “went well,” freeing humanitarian aid to Afghanistan after Washington agreed not to add such aid to the Taliban’s formal recognition.
The United States made it clear that the talks were in no way a prelude to the recognition of the Taliban, which came to power on 15 August following the fall of the US-allied government.
Taliban political spokesman Suhail Shaheen also told The Associated Press that the movement’s interim foreign minister assured the US during the talks that the Taliban was committed to seeing that Afghan soil should not be used by extremists to launch attacks against other countries. is not used.
On Saturday, however, the Taliban denied cooperation with Washington to control the increasingly active Islamic State group in Afghanistan.
Taliban enemy IS has claimed responsibility for several recent attacks, including Friday’s suicide bombing that killed 46 minority Shia Muslims. Washington considers IS to be its biggest terrorist threat emanating from Afghanistan.
Asked if the Taliban would work with the US to become affiliated with the Islamic State, Shaheen said, “We are capable of dealing with Daesh independently.” He used an Arabic acronym for IS.
Bill Rogio, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, which tracks terrorist groups, agreed that the Taliban should be able to find and locate Afghanistan’s IS ally, known as the Islamic State, or ISKP, in Khorasan province. Washington’s help is not needed to destroy.
Rogio, who produced the foundation’s Long War Journal, said the Taliban “fought 20 years to oust America, and the last thing it needs is America’s return, it also needs American help.” It doesn’t have to do the tedious and time-consuming task of rooting out ISKP cells and its limited infrastructure. It has all the knowledge and tools needed to do it.”
Rogio said the IS ally does not have the benefit of safe haven in Pakistan and Iran, which the Taliban had in their fight against the United States. However, he warned that the Taliban’s longstanding support for al-Qaeda makes them unreliable as counter-terrorism partners with the United States.
The Taliban had sheltered al-Qaeda prior to the 9/11 attacks. This inspired the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 which drove the Taliban from power.
“It is insane for the US to think that the Taliban can be a credible counter-terrorism partner, given the Taliban’s enduring support for al-Qaeda,” Rogio said.
During the meeting, US officials were expected to pressure the Taliban to allow Americans and others to leave Afghanistan. In their statement, the Taliban said without elaboration that they would “facilitate the principled movement of foreign nationals.”
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /