US diplomacy will meet with representatives of the Taliban on October 9-10 in Doha, Qatar. Russia for its part invited the Taliban to an international meeting in Moscow on October 20 with China, Iran, Pakistan and India.
An American delegation will hold talks with representatives of the Taliban from October 9 for the first time since the withdrawal from Afghanistan, the State Department announced on October 8.
The US team will meet with senior Taliban officials on October 9 and 10 in Doha, Qatar, a State Department spokesperson said. The United States maintained contacts with the new rulers of Afghanistan after taking Kabul in August, but this will be the first direct meeting between the two sides.
“We will push for the Taliban to respect the rights of all Afghans, including women and girls, and to form an inclusive government with broad support,” the US spokesperson said.
“As Afghanistan faces the possibility of a severe economic recession and humanitarian crisis, we will also push for the Taliban to grant humanitarian agencies free access to areas in difficulty,” he said. he adds.
The meeting in Doha does not mean that the United States recognizes Taliban power in Afghanistan, insisted the State Department. “We continue to make it clear that all legitimacy must be earned through the actions of the Taliban,” said the spokesperson.
US officials will also insist on Joe Biden’s priority of securing the departure from Afghanistan of US citizens and Afghans who aided the US military during the 20 years of conflict. Washington noted that the Taliban have so far cooperated to facilitate the departure of US nationals. About 100 of them are still in Afghanistan, most of them Americans with close ties to Afghanistan and who have yet to decide to leave the country, according to US officials.
The spokesperson did not specify the composition of the two delegations sent to Doha. Senior US officials, including General Frank McKenzie, met with Taliban officials in Kabul in August.
Russia wants to meet Taliban in Moscow
For its part, Russia had indicated on October 7 its intention to invite the Taliban to participate in international talks on Afghanistan in Moscow on October 20. China, Iran, Pakistan and India, which together with Russia form the “Moscow Format on Afghanistan”, have been invited to these international discussions for which neither the agenda nor the level of representation have been determined. detailed. Asked whether or not to send an invitation to the Taliban, Zamir Kabulov, the Kremlin’s emissary in this country, quoted by Russian news agencies, replied in the affirmative.
However, the Taliban have not yet decided whether they will participate in this “Moscow Format” meeting, a spokesman for the Taliban movement told RIA Novosti. Moscow considers the Taliban movement as a terrorist, but has been in dialogue with him for years.
This international conference will take place after an extraordinary G20 summit devoted to the critical humanitarian situation in Afghanistan on 12 October. Zamir Kabulov had also let it be known that Russia was working on the concrete modalities of sending humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, adding that “material” was being gathered to be dispatched.
Russia is concerned about the terrorist threat hanging over the country and the region as a whole following the Taliban takeover. Vladimir Poutine thus warned against the possibility of “Islamist extremists” infiltrating the former Soviet republics of Central Asia, which Moscow regards as its southern defensive buffer.
In the wake of the Taliban’s rise to power, Russia has also organized military exercises in Tajikistan and reinforced its military presence there. Vladimir Putin also had a telephone interview on October 7 with Tajik President Emomali Rahmon during which the two leaders discussed security issues concerning the Afghan situation.
On October 8, an attack claimed by Daesh struck a Shiite mosque in Kundunz in northern Afghanistan, killing at least 50 and injuring 140.