The United States will hold in-person consultations with a Taliban delegation, the current powers, for the first time since its withdrawal from Afghanistan. Talks with high-ranking Taliban representatives will take place in the Qatari capital Doha this weekend, the US State Department reports.
“The talks are not about acknowledging or legitimizing the Taliban in Afghanistan,” said a US State Department spokesman. “Rather, it is a continuation of pragmatic discussions on issues of national interest to the US. The main priority is the continued safe passage of US citizens, other foreigners and Afghans.”
The US also wants a Taliban commitment to prevent terrorists from using Afghanistan “to threaten the security of the United States or its allies,” he added. The State Department did not disclose who was travelling on behalf of the US for the talks.
The last US troops left Afghanistan at the end of August. This marked the end of the international military mission in the country after nearly two decades.