The US and the Taliban will resume talks next week in Qatar, and discuss terrorism and the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. The Taliban, which took control of Afghanistan in August, are not living up to the promises of a moderate regime they made when they took over.
In September, they prohibited girls from returning to school, and on Tuesday, the ministry put a ban on broadcasting content that feature women actors and issued orders that women anchors and reporters wear the hijab while covering news.
The US will be led by its special envoy for Afghanistan, Thomas West, for the two-week talks, according to State Department spokesperson Ned Price. Price said the two sides would discuss “our important national interests,” which include counterterrorism operations against Islamic State (IS) and al Qaeda, humanitarian aid, Afghanistan's crippled economy, and safe passage out of Afghanistan for US nationals and Afghans who worked for the US during the 20-year conflict. As US forces withdrew from Pakistan a few weeks ago, West met with officials of the extreme Islamist faction of the Taliban that seized power in August.
West is expected to reach Doha next week. West had indicated that the US was concerned about an increase in attacks by the IS and al Qaeda’s presence in the country.
A first session between the two sides was held on October 9-10 at the Qatari capital Doha.
Amir Khan Muttaqi, foreign minister of the Taliban government, called last week in an open letter to the US Congress for the release of Afghan assets frozen by the US. The Taliban government is yet to be formally recognised by the international community.
"The Taliban have voiced very clearly and openly their desire to normalize relations with the international community, to see a resumption in aid, to see a return of the international diplomatic community to Kabul and to see sanctions relief," West told TOLO news.