US calls initial consultation with Taliban ‘frank and professional’

The United States has said that the first round of talks with the Taliban went โ€œfrank and professionalโ€. For the first time since the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, a US delegation held a face-to-face consultation with current rulers in the country last weekend. However, the US reiterated that they will judge the Taliban for their actions, not just their words.

According to a statement by the U.S. Department of State, the US delegation focused on issues such as security and terrorism threats in the talks that took place in Doha in Qatar. The need for safe passage for US citizens, other foreigners and Afghans was also addressed. The human rights situation was also an item on the agenda, including the position of women in the country.

The two sides also discussed the provision of American humanitarian aid directly to the Afghan people. Previously, Afghan media revealed that the Taliban had asked for the release of Afghan financial assets. Since the take-over of the Taliban, around $9 billion in bank balances has been frozen abroad.

The US said earlier that the talks are not about acknowledging or legitimizing the Taliban. The last US troops left Afghanistan at the end of August. Their departure marked the end of the countrys international military mission that lasted nearly two decades.