Since Saturday, the State Department has announced that the United States wants to hold its first face-to-face talks since the Taliban withdrew from Afghanistan.
A State Department spokesman said the U.S. delegation would meet with senior Taliban officials on Saturday and Sunday in Doha, the capital of Qatar.
The United States has maintained contact with the Taliban since the capture of Kabul by the militant group in August, but this will be the first face-to-face meeting.
“We will press the Taliban to respect the rights of all Afghans, including women and girls, and to form an inclusive government with broad support,” the spokesman added on Friday.
“As Afghanistan faces a severe economic downturn and a potential humanitarian crisis, we will also press the Taliban to provide free access to areas where aid agencies need assistance,” he added.
The State Department stressed that the meeting did not indicate US recognition of Taliban rule in Afghanistan.
“We are clear that the Taliban should not take any legal action against their own actions,” the spokesman said.
The U.S. delegation will campaign to ensure that Biden’s top priority is to allow US citizens and Afghan allies to leave Afghanistan during 20 years of military action.
The United States believes the Taliban have been heavily involved in allowing U.S. citizens to leave, but about 100 Americans in Afghanistan are reluctant to leave the country, according to U.S. officials.
The United States acknowledges that it was unable to obtain all of the Afghan allies who wanted to leave during the flight that took thousands of people out of Kabul airport before they were deported.
The speaker did not mention the identities of the personalities representing both sides during the scheduled meeting. Senior U.S. officials, including Federal Commander General Frank McKenzie, met with the Taliban in Kabul in August, when U.S. forces seized control of the air force to enable air traffic.
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