The US is sending humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, the Taliban announced Sunday, after talks with American officials in Doha, Qatar, “went well.”
Over the weekend, the militant group and the US held their first direct talks since the complete US troop withdrawal and initial evacuation efforts of Americans and Afghan allies from Afghanistan in August.
The Taliban said the talks “went well,” and State Department spokesperson Ned Price said they were “candid and professional.”
Price hedged in committing the US to provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan but did say it was discussed.
“On October 9 and 10, an interagency delegation traveled to Doha, Qatar to meet with senior Taliban representatives. The U.S. delegation focused on security and terrorism concerns and safe passage for U.S. citizens, other foreign nationals and our Afghan partners, as well as on human rights, including the meaningful participation of women and girls in all aspects of Afghan society,” Price said in a statement.
“The two sides also discussed the United States’ provision of robust humanitarian assistance, directly to the Afghan people. 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.”
Taliban delegates meet with Qatar delegates in Doha, Qatar, on Oct. 9, 2021.Social media handout/via REUTERS
Despite appearing to accept the potential humanitarian aid, the Taliban denied any assistance from the US when it comes to tackling extremist organizations in the country, such as the Islamic State group.
Taliban political spokesperson Suhail Shaheen told the Associated Press there will not be any cooperation with the US on containing the recent attacks from ISIS, which most recently claimed a suicide bombing Friday that killed 46 Shiite Muslims and wounded dozens in Kunduz.
“We are able to tackle Daesh independently,” Shaheen said.
Taliban delegates firmly denied any American assistance with dealing with terrorist groups such as ISIS.Social media handout/via REUTERS
The US has not recognized the legitimacy of Afghanistan’s new leadership. The Biden administration has previously said it would provide assistance to Afghans, however, through independent organizations instead of the government.
“The U.S. Treasury Department has issued specific licenses to allow U.S. government agencies, contractors, and grant recipients to continue to provide critical and lifesaving humanitarian aid to the people of Afghanistan, despite sanctions on the Taliban,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a September statement. “Consistent with our sanctions, this aid will not flow through the government, but rather through independent organizations.”