The Taliban have said that the US has agreed to provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan with the country bracing itself for an economic disaster. The Taliban statement came after the first direct talks between the former adversaries since the chaotic withdrawal of US troops in late August.

In their statement, the Taliban said that the talks held in Doha, Qatar, “went well” as the US insisted that freeing up humanitarian assistance was not a preamble to formal recognition of the Taliban. The Taliban also said that their government would “facilitate principled movement of foreign nationals”.

Taliban’s political spokesman Suhail Shaheen said that the movement’s interim foreign minister assured the US during the talks that the Taliban were committed to seeing that Afghan soil was not used by extremists to launch attacks against other countries.

Taliban to “tackle Daesh independently”

Earlier on Saturday; however, the Taliban ruled out cooperation with the US to contain the increasing threat from the Islamic State Khorasan Province in Afghanistan.

“We are able to tackle Daesh independently,” Shaheen said when asked whether the Taliban would work with the US to contain the Islamic State affiliate.

The terror group – which is the sworn enemy of the Taliban – has claimed responsibility for a number of recent attacks, including Friday’s suicide bombing that killed 46 minority Shia Muslims. The US deems ISKP as its greatest terrorist threat emanating from Afghanistan.

US turns “candid and professional” with Taliban

Meanwhile, in a statement, the US State Department said that the two sides “discussed the United States’ provision of robust humanitarian assistance, directly to the Afghan people”.

The US State Department spokesman Ned Price called the discussions “candid and professional”, reiterating that the Taliban would be judged on their actions rather than their words.

Price said, “The US delegation focused on security and terrorism concerns and safe passage for US citizens, other foreign nationals and our Afghan partners, as well as on human rights, including the meaningful participation of women and girls in all aspects of Afghan society.”

US, UK issue travel advisories

Amidst the talks, the US and Britain also warned their citizens to stay away from hotels in the capital, Kabul, particularly the well-known Serena. The Serena is the best-known luxury hotel in Kabul. It was popular with foreign visitors before the city fell to the Taliban eight weeks ago.

Citing security threats in the area, the US State Department said, “US citizens who are at or near the Serena hotel should leave immediately.”

Elsewhere, the UK Foreign Office advised its citizens to not travel to Afghanistan saying, “In light of the increased risks you are advised not to stay in hotels, particularly in Kabul.”


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