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US delegation discusses post-US withdrawal situation with Taliban

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US delegation discusses post-US withdrawal situation with Taliban
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Doha: Representatives of a delegation from the US government met with those from the Taliban government in a meeting held in Qatar. The US delegation was led by a special representative for Afghanistan Thomas West. Successive meetings were held on Monday and Tuesday according to the US State Department.

Counterterrorism, safe passage for U.S. citizens and at-risk Afghans, humanitarian assistance and the economic situation of the country were the main subjects of discussion.

The US representatives raised concerns over the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and pledged their continued support to UN interventions in the region. However, they also put the onus of respecting human rights on the Taliban government and urged them strongly to implement schemes for the welfare and education of women and girls in Afghanistan.

US officials "expressed deep concern regarding allegations of human rights abuses and urged the Taliban to protect the rights of all Afghans, uphold and enforce its policy of general amnesty and take additional steps to form an inclusive and representative government," the State Department said. The U.S. delegation included representatives from the intelligence community, the Treasury Department and the U.S. international aid agency USAID, while "technocratic professionals" also took part on the Afghan side.

The Taliban have allegedly experienced willingness to co-operate in the matter of education access for girls and women as well as allow third parties to monitor progress in such areas. It has made several moves in that direction, such as allowing the United Nations to conduct mass polio vaccination programmes in the country, especially in rural areas where wild poliovirus resurfaced in recent years.

However one of the conditions laid forth by the Taliban representatives was the unfreezing of Afghan assets in banks abroad as well as the unconditional lifting of blacklists. The World Trade Organisation and International Monetary Fund had frozen all funding to Kabul. The group's leaders say their country's central bank account at the Federal Reserve in New York, in which the former government accumulated about $7 billion from foreign aid and other sources, is rightfully theirs.

America said it was open to letting humanitarian aid into the country to help citizens who have been beset by severe hunger and economic crises after the Taliban coup in September.

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TAGS:Taliban Taliban-Afghan govt USA US talks with Taliban Diplomacy 
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