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Taliban official confirms plans to resume Qatar talks with US

Earlier, the US announced that US Special Representative for Afghanistan would visit Qatar’s capital to discuss the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan

CAIRO, November 24. /TASS/. The Taliban movement (outlawed in Russia), which recently seized power in Afghanistan, has confirmed plans to resume its talks with the United States in Qatar in the near future, Second Deputy Information and Culture Minister in the Taliban’s interim government Bilal Karimi told TASS on Wednesday.

"We do intend to hold talks with the US in Qatar in the near future but no dates have been set yet," he said. "During the consultations, we plan to discuss the implementation of the Doha Agreement [between the Taliban and the US], <...> the unfreezing of the Afghan people’s financial assets (the reserves of Afghanistan’s Central Bank - TASS) and issues related to diplomatic relations between the two parties," Karimi added.

Washington announced earlier that US Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West would visit Qatar’s capital next week to discuss the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan with Taliban leaders.

In October, Taliban officials held several meetings with US diplomats in Doha. According to the Taliban, the parties particularly focused on humanitarian aid deliveries to the Afghan people, the implementation of the Doha Agreement, as well as the need to open a new page in relations between Kabul and Washington, ensuring respect for Afghanistan’s territorial integrity and non-interference in its domestic affairs.

Situation in Afghanistan

The Taliban and the US administration led by then President Donald Trump signed a peace agreement in Qatar’s capital of Doha on February 29, 2020. According to the document, the US and coalition members were supposed to withdraw their troops from Afghanistan within 14 months. The Taliban, in turn, guaranteed that they would not use Afghan soil to carry out activities posing a security threat to the United States or its allies.

After the United States announced plans for its troop pullout from Afghanistan, the Taliban (outlawed in Russia) embarked on a large-scale operation to take the country under its control. On August 15, Taliban fighters swept into Kabul without encountering any resistance and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani stepped down and fled the country. On September 7, the Taliban announced a new Afghan government consisting only of the movement’s members, the majority of whom are ethnic Pashtuns. Many countries stated that the government was not inclusive and called on the Taliban to include members of ethnic minorities and women in the cabinet.