The American soldiers are no longer in Afghanistan, since their chaotic withdrawal at the end of August, but Washington wishes to maintain contact with the Taliban who, by taking power in Kabul a few days before, had precipitated events.
« I can confirm that next week Special Representative for Afghanistan Tom West will return to Doha for two weeks of meetings with the Taliban »US diplomacy spokesman Ned Price said on Tuesday, November 23.
They will evoke « Our vital national interests about Afghanistan », he added, listing « Counter-terrorism », « Humanitarian aid and the country’s economic situation », as well as the possibility for Americans and Afghans who have worked for them for the past twenty years to leave Afghanistan safely. » security « .
A « lucid and frank dialogue »
Thomas West met, nearly two weeks ago in Pakistan, representatives of the Islamist movement which seized power in Kabul in mid-August after the withdrawal of all American forces. A first session of negotiations between Washington and the Taliban took place on October 9 and 10, already in Doha where the American diplomatic team in charge of Afghanistan relocated after this withdrawal.
The American envoy reiterated last Friday on Twitter the conditions of the United States for the Taliban « Deserve » American financial and diplomatic support: fight against terrorism, establishment of a government « Inclusive », « Respect for the rights of minorities, women and girls », and « Equal access to education and employment ». He had assured that the Americans would continue to maintain a « Lucid and frank dialogue with the Taliban » and to provide the Afghans, in the meantime, with strictly humanitarian aid.
The foreign minister of the government set up by the Taliban but not recognized by the international community, Amir Khan Muttaqi, last week called on him in an open letter to the US Congress to lift the freeze on Afghan assets decided by Washington.