‘Opening a new page!’ Taliban and US hold first talks since Afghanistan withdrawal

According to reports, the talks held in Doha discussed a number of issues from foreign policy to the economy with the offering coronavirus vaccines to Afghans. On the Taliban side, members of the militant group requested for the US to remove the ban on Afghan central reserves, according to Al-Jazeera.

The Taliban minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi was quoted in Al-Jazeera saying the two parties discussed “opening a new page” between the two countries after the longest war in American history.

Despite the insistence on cooperation to deal with terrorist threats, the Taliban have announced they will not work with the US to fight ISIS.

Spokesperson Suhail Shaheen told the Associated Press the Taliban could “tackle [ISIS] independently.”

On Friday, a terror attack claimed by ISIS-K killed 46 minority Shi’ite Muslims and injured dozens more in the city of Kunduz as they prayed in a mosque.

The talks will carry on during Saturday and into Sunday, however the US has said they are not a precursor to recognition of the Taliban’s leadership in Afghanistan.

The UK government also held its first talks with the militant group this week.

The Foreign office said, terror, education of girls and safe passage out of the country was discussed.

UK campaigners have suggested around 400 to 500 British citizens are still left in Afghanistan and seeking support to return home.

The Taliban have indicated they may be flexible on evacuating foreign citizens for those who still remain in Afghanistan.

Speaking at a fringe event for the Conservative Party conference, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said the Afghan crisis had provided an opportunity for China and other powers to fill the space left by the West.

The Defence Secretary said: “Who popped up immediately as the US and Nato were leaving, but China, offering to invest in Afghanistan?

“That was about securing land routes to ports such as Karachi and also into Pakistan.”

The Taliban took control of Kabul on August 15 – only ten days after the first provincial capital Zaranj was captured by the group.

The military airlift, dubbed Operation Pitting, involved more than 1,000 personnel and included 165 flights transporting 15,000 people from the country in just a few weeks.

The US delegation was led by CIA Deputy Director David Cohen according to CBS News.

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