Regional powers rally behind Taliban's request for humanitarian aid

Regional powers rally behind Taliban's request for humanitarian aid
© KARIM SAHIB/AFP via Getty Images

Ten Asian and the Middle Eastern powers are backing the Taliban in calling for Afghanistan to receive humanitarian aid through a United Nations donor conference and suggesting the U.S. and its allies foot most of the bill, Reuters reported.

During talks held in Moscow on Wednesday, countries including Iran, China, Russia and India urged the U.N. to consider convening a summit to avoid an economic and humanitarian crisis, the wire service noted.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price said earlier this week that the U.S. would not be taking part in the talks, which were organized by Russia, due to logistical issues.

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"Nobody is interested in the complete paralysis of an entire state, which borders, among other things, the CIS [Commonwealth of Independent States]," Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson for the Kremlin, said, according to Reuters.

The 10 countries, however, made clear that the brunt of the humanitarian aid should be paid by the U.S. and its allies given their involvement in the Afghanistan War.

“The main burden ... should be borne by the forces whose military contingents have been present in this country over the past 20 years,” the countries said, according to the news outlet.

On Wednesday afternoon, White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiSchumer steps on the gas to move Biden agenda Judge blocks Spicer, Vought bid to return to Naval Academy board Romney praises Biden's boycott of Beijing Olympics MORE was asked whether the administration felt the talks in Moscow were helpful.

"Obviously, our focus remains working with like-minded countries and parties around the world to ensure that we are sending a clear message to the Taliban about the expectations that there is freedom for people to depart Afghanistan, that we are allowed to have flights in, get humanitarian assistance to the right people," Psaki said.

"That’s what we’ve been working through with the U.N. on and working through with 100 countries around the world," she added.

Countries have avoided officially recognizing the Taliban as the legitimate government, even as they pursue various levels of engagement with insurgent group. The U.S. has emphasized repeatedly that it will not take the Taliban by their word, but by their actions.

The Associated Press reported earlier this month following talks between a U.S. delegation and senior Taliban representatives that the U.S. would not be recognizing the Taliban but would be provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.