Doha, Oct 10: An unstable Afghanistan and weakening the de facto government in Kabul is in favour of no one and Afghans will suffer down the road, a top Taliban leader has said as the Islamist group holds its first face-to-face talks with US officials since the withdrawal of American forces from the country.
These remarks were made by Afghan Acting Foreign Minister, Mullah Amir Khan Motaqi to Bakhtar news agency. He is heading a delegation of Taliban officials in Doha for talks with US officials.
Motaqi said that the US representatives were happy to be talking with a single side from Afghanistan and added that they will provide the Afghan people humanitarian aid, Khaama news agency reported.
Motaqi said that the US side was told to lift the ban on the reserves of Afghanistan’s Central Bank and not create problems for the people.
He added that they will continue talking with the US and representatives of other EU members states in Doha.
According to Motaqi, the US said it would offer Afghan people vaccines against Covid-19.
Motaqi said focus of the Afghan delegation’s talks was humanitarian aid, as well implementation of the agreement the Taliban had signed with Washington in Doha last year which paved the way for US withdrawal.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson of the US State Department said the talks are not about recognising or legitimising the Taliban as Afghanistan’s leaders, but are a continuation of pragmatic talks on issues of national interest for the US
Motaqi after the meeting with the US delegation in Doha said: “We are trying to explain the situation to the world and the government’s position. We do not work for the benefit of one and to the detriment of the other, whatever we do is in the light of the principles of the sacred religion of Islam and the national interest.”
He said continuation of humanitarian aid, full implementation of the Doha Agreement, respect for Afghanistan’s territorial integrity, non-interference in each other’s affairs, positively with each other. Relationships and interactions were emphasized, Bakhtar news agency reported.
“We (the Taliban) met with the delegation from the US and discussed many issues among them the recent situation of Afghanistan, humanitarian aids, and political issues,” said Motaqi.
His remarks came on the first of two days of talks with a US team led by the State Department’s Deputy Special Representative Tom West and top USAID humanitarian official Sarah Charles.
Ahead of the talks, the Taliban ruled out cooperation with the United States to contain extremist groups in Afghanistan.
Taliban’s political spokesman Suhail Shaheen said there would be no cooperation with Washington on containing the increasingly active IS in Afghanistan. “We are able to tackle Daesh independently,” Shaheen said, when asked whether the Taliban would work with the US to contain an IS affiliate.
Motaqi said the Taliban wants to hold meetings with other countries as well to discuss Afghanistan’s difficulties. “We are trying to have such meetings and gatherings with the US and other countries of the world and to discuss the current situation in Afghanistan, listen to one another’s opinions,” he said.