US to resume talks with Taliban in Qatar: State Department25 November 2021
Former US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad shakes hands with Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar after signing a February 2020 peace agreement in Qatar. Agency photo
Al Jazeera :
The United States is set to resume talks with the Taliban next week in Qatar, discussing the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and steps to ensure that the country does not become a "launchpad" for "terrorism", US State Department Spokesman Ned Price has said.
The US special representative for Afghanistan, Tom West, will lead the US delegation for the planned two weeks of discussions, Price said on Tuesday.
"They'll discuss… our vital national interest when it comes to Afghanistan. That includes counterterrorism, that includes safe passage for US citizens and for Afghans to whom we have a special commitment, and that includes humanitarian assistance and the economic situation of the country," Price told reporters.
West, who replaced Zalmay Khalilzad in the role in October, had most recently met with Taliban representatives in Pakistan in early November.
In a letter to the US Congress, Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi last week warned that the country's financial insecurity would continue to worsen an ongoing humanitarian crisis that could prompt further mass migration.