US describes talks with Taliban as ‘candid and professional’
Biden administration officials over the weekend held their first face-to-face meeting with Taliban leaders since the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan in late August.
A State Department official described the talks, held in Qatar, as “candid and professional.”
“The discussions were candid and professional with the U.S. delegation reiterating that the Taliban will be judged on its actions, not only its words,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement.
The U.S. officials traveled to Doha to discuss security matters, human rights and safe passage for international groups, including American citizens, according to Price, who added that there were talks about “including the meaningful participation of women and girls in all aspects of Afghan society.”
Price did not specify if any agreements were made.
A previous statement from the Taliban’s leadership said the meeting “went well.” They added that while the U.S. would provide humanitarian support in the country, it would not formally recognize the Taliban.
Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen said at the time that the country’s new leaders were committed to ensuring that terrorism does not again take root in Afghanistan.
Those comments came just two days after the Islamic State’s affiliate in Afghanistan claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed more than 40 people during noon prayer at a mosque in the country.
The group, known as ISIS-K, has been critical of the Taliban for not adhering to a stricter version of Islam.
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