Taliban administration’s foreign minister stated on Monday that his country desires special connections with Gulf countries.
“We desire constructive ties with the European Union,” Amir Khan Mottaki said at a Doha event announcing the Tuesday meeting with EU officials.
He also stated that his administration rejects international directives on Afghanistan and expressed optimism that a recent discussion with an American delegation will generate beneficial outcomes.
The US State Department described two days of talks between the US and the Taliban, former foes, as “frank and professional,” after which the Taliban announced that the US had agreed to provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, which is suffering from extreme poverty and economic disaster, but it refused to recognize the country’s rulers on political grounds.
Suhail Shaheen, the movement’s political spokesperson, also told the Associated Press that the Taliban’s foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaki, promised the US team at the Doha talks that the movement is committed to working on the Afghan territories and not becoming a springboard for extremists to launch attacks on other countries.
Mottaki also requested the US to ease the embargo on the Central Bank of Afghanistan’s reserves.
According to the Reuters news agency, he also stated that the two sides discussed “starting a new page” between the two countries.
The US-made it plain that the negotiations were not a precursor to recognizing the Taliban, who took control on August 15 following the collapse of a US-backed government.
In a statement issued Monday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also confirmed that the talks, which marked the first direct meeting between senior US officials and the Taliban since the extremist group seized power in the country, were “frank and professional,” and that the US side emphasized once again that the talks were “frank and professional, adding that the US side reiterated that the Taliban’s fate will be determined by their deeds, not simply their words.
It’s worth noting that, since the Taliban took control of Kabul in mid-August, one of Washington’s major goals has been to persuade the Taliban to keep their promise not to allow Afghanistan to become a haven for al-Qaeda or other extremists.
After refusing to hand over al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, the Taliban reclaimed power 20 years later in a US-led invasion.