Talks in Qatar between the Taliban and the US have been “friendly and professional” according to Americans. The Taliban say the Americans have pledged humanitarian aid. Whether that‘s right isn’t known. A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State merely said that “robust” humanitarian aid has been discussed, which did not clarify whether commitments have been made.
It was the first direct talks between the Taliban and the US since the Americans left Afghanistan in August. According to the spokesman, the negotiators discussed, among other things, a safe departure from US citizens who are still in Afghanistan, other foreigners and thousands of Afghans who have worked with the US.
Terrorism and Human Rights
Another topic was terrorism. The Americans want to prevent Afghanistan from becoming another terrorist shelter, as the country was at the turn of the century for the al-Qaida of Osama bin Laden. The Americans are also said to have pushed for the release of US engineer Mark Frerichs, who was abducted in Afghanistan in 2020. It was presumably because of the Haqqani network, a terror group working with the Taliban.
According to the Foreign Affairs spokesman, the negotiators have also talked about human rights and a “meaningful” participation of women and girls in society.
The Afghan Foreign Minister said on Saturday that the Taliban asked the US to release the nearly EUR 8 billion that the Afghan central bank has on accounts in the US. He also said that the US wants to offer its country corona vaccines.
The Americans stressed that they will judge the Taliban for their actions.