U.S. Delegation Meeting with Taliban Representatives
Office of the Spokesperson
The below is attributable to Spokesperson Ned Price:
On November 29 and 30, Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West led a senior interagency delegation including representatives from the Department of State, Department of the Treasury, USAID, and the intelligence community in discussions on enduring national interests with senior Taliban representatives and technocratic professionals in Doha, Qatar. The U.S. delegation emphasized the importance of the Taliban fulfilling its public commitment not to allow anyone to pose a threat to any country from the soil of Afghanistan, safe passage for U.S. citizens and Afghans to whom we have a special commitment, the protection of the rights of all of Afghanistan’s citizens, including its women, girls, and minorities, and the safe release of hostage Mark Frerichs. The two teams also discussed the international community’s on-going and urgent response to the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, and the U.S. delegation pledged to continue to support UN and humanitarian actors’ efforts to scale up to meet life-saving needs this coming winter.
The United States remains committed to ensuring that U.S. sanctions do not limit the ability of Afghan civilians to receive humanitarian support from the U.S. government and international community while denying assets to sanctioned entities and individuals. The Department of the Treasury has issued general licenses to support the continued flow of humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan and other activities that support basic human needs.
Special Representative West welcomed the Taliban’s follow-through on safe passage commitments and recognized improvements in providing all humanitarian workers safe and unimpeded access to communities in need.
The Taliban reiterated their pledge to not allow the territory of Afghanistan to be used by anyone to threaten any country. U.S. officials expressed concern regarding the continuing presence of al-Qa’ida and ISIS in Afghanistan.
The U.S. delegation noted recent statements from Taliban leaders expressing support for women and girls’ access to education at all levels and urged implementation of that commitment countrywide. The Taliban expressed openness to engaging with the international community on full access to education and welcomed efforts to verify and monitor progress to enroll women and girls in school at all levels. The Taliban asked for support in the education sector.
American officials expressed deep concern regarding allegations of human rights abuses and urged the Taliban to protect the rights of all Afghans, uphold and enforce its policy of general amnesty, and take additional steps to form an inclusive and representative government.
This engagement is a continuation of pragmatic diplomacy on Afghanistan in coordination with Allies and partners.