Taliban Warns US Not To “Destabilise” Regime In 1st Face-To-Face Talks Since Withdrawal

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The Taliban minister said the United States would also help Afghans vaccinate against Kovid-1. File

Doha:

On Saturday, US Secretary of State Amir Khan Muttaki said the Taliban had warned the United States not to “destabilize” them in their first face-to-face talks since the withdrawal.

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Mr Muttaqi’s comments came as the Taliban sought to re-establish their rule in Afghanistan, 20 years after the US-led offensive expelled hardline Islamists.

“We have made it clear to them that trying to destabilize the government in Afghanistan is not good for anyone,” he told the Afghan state news agency Bakhtar after talks in the Qatari capital, Doha.

“Good relations with Afghanistan are good for all. We should not do anything to weaken the existing government in Afghanistan that could cause problems for the people,” he said in a recorded statement translated by AFP.

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Mr Muttacci’s remarks came in the first two days of talks with a US team led by State Department Deputy Special Representative Tom West and top USAID humanitarian officer Sarah Charles.

He said the United States would also help Afghans vaccinate against Kovid-1.

There was no immediate word from the United States on the talks.

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“The U.S. delegation has decided that they will cooperate with us in providing vaccinations and provide humanitarian assistance,” Mr Muttaki said.

He added: “It is promised that the states will maintain good relations with each other and be patient when Afghanistan is going through a very difficult time, so Afghanistan will come out of this situation with more vigor.”

The radical Taliban regained power in August as the United States ended a two-decade presence with its withdrawal, which included chaotic flights of foreign residents and Afghans.

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Attack on the mosque

A series of attacks by Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K) has undermined their efforts to consolidate their rule, claiming a bomb attack on a Shia mosque on Friday that killed more than 60 people.

Afghanistan’s economy is on the brink of collapse, international aid is cut off, food prices are rising and unemployment is rising.

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Mr Muttaqi said the Taliban wanted to hold meetings with other countries, including the United States, to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.

“We are trying to hold such meetings and gatherings with the United States and other countries in the world, and to discuss the current situation in Afghanistan, we want to hear each other’s views,” said Mr We Muttaki.

“The people of Afghanistan must address the economic or any other problems they are facing. The current government of Afghanistan is committed to maintaining good relations with other states and cooperating with others, for the benefit of its people and to provide services to them.”

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“This is what we want and we are trying to discuss these areas with other countries.”

Prior to the talks, a US State Department official said his priority was to ensure safe access for the United States and other citizens who want to leave Afghanistan, and to ensure that the Taliban do not allow “terrorists” to operate on Afghan soil.

“This meeting is not about recognition or legitimization. We are clear that the Taliban must gain any legitimacy through its own actions.”

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(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)

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