Pakistan ‘welcomes’ second round of US-Taliban talks in Doha | Taliban news

The Foreign Ministry reiterates the country’s position that the world community should engage with the Taliban government.

Islamabad, Pakistan Pakistan has “welcomed” a second round of talks between the United States and the Taliban since the latter took over Afghanistan earlier this year, a Foreign Ministry (MoFA) spokesman said.

During a weekly press briefing in the capital Islamabad on Thursday, MoFA spokesman Asim Iftikhar reiterated his country’s position that the world community needs to engage with the Taliban government.

“[The US-Taliban talks] It would be welcome development, as we have said, to encourage and advocate for increased involvement of the international community with Afghanistan to help address its challenges, ”Iftikhar said.

The US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Tom West, will arrive in Qatar’s capital Doha for two days of talks with Taliban officials next week, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Tuesday.

Price said the agenda for negotiations would be the United States’ “important national interest” in Afghanistan, which “includes counter-terrorism, which includes safe passage for American citizens and for Afghans, to whom we have a special obligation, and which includes humanitarian aid and economic situation of the country ”.

On Thursday, the Afghan Foreign Ministry confirmed that a delegation led by acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi had traveled to Doha for the negotiations.

“A senior delegation led by Foreign Minister Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi traveled to Doha this afternoon,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi.

“The delegation consists of representatives from the Ministries of Education, Health, Finance, Security and Da Afghanistan Bank [the Afghan central bank]. “

International assistance

The Taliban’s interim government has repeatedly called for international assistance to help combat a burgeoning humanitarian crisis following its takeover of the country in mid-August.

The United States froze $ 9.5 billion. in Afghan central bank assets after the takeover, which paralyzes the government’s ability to function in many areas.

The Afghan news organization Tolo News quoted Balkhi as saying that the issue of frozen Afghan assets and the reopening of foreign embassies in Kabul would be discussed during the negotiations.

Next week’s talks will be the second round of direct talks between the two sides in Qatar following the Taliban’s takeover, with an earlier round held in October, although West had not officially taken over as the US Special Representative for the region at the time.

West replaced Zalmay Khalilzad in the role and most recently met with Muttaqi and other Taliban representatives on the sidelines of an expanded troika meeting, which also included Chinese and Russian officials, in Islamabad on 11 November.

Pakistan has called on the international community not to ‘give up’ Afghanistan after the Taliban’s return to power in August. Islamabad, which hosts nearly 3.5 million Afghan refugees, fears a humanitarian crisis will have a contagious effect on it.

Earlier this week, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan announced more than $ 28 million in medical, food and other humanitarian aid to his Western neighbor.

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