Perizat RISBEK KIZI
Despite the fact that the Taliban government has not yet been recognized by the world community, many countries are now making contact with them. Negotiations are being conducted by great powers like the United States, China and Russia.
Thus, the United States confirmed the start of a new round of talks with the Taliban in Qatar next week. State Department spokesman Ned Price noted that Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West will travel to Doha for a two-week meeting with Taliban leaders and that the parties will discuss vital national interests regarding Afghanistan, including the fight against terrorism and the humanitarian crisis.
At the same time, only on November 20, the head of the Pentagon Lloyd Austin announced the uncertain relations between the United States and members of the Taliban in Afghanistan. In his opinion, it was difficult to imagine what kind of interaction between Washington and the Afghan government will be in the future.
Prior to that, on October 9-10, the Taliban held the first talks with American diplomats since Afghanistan withdrawal. During the meeting, the subject of discussion was the implementation of the Doha Agreement between Washington and the Taliban, as well as the containment of radical groups in Afghanistan and the evacuation of foreigners and Afghans from the country.
The economic crisis in Afghanistan
As the United States prepares for a new round of talks with the Taliban, there are growing calls for Washington and its partners to lift restrictions that are aggravating the economic crisis in Afghanistan.
Thus, according to Anadolu Agency, the announcement of the upcoming talks is encouraging in Afghanistan, which, according to Amnesty International, is in a “full-blown economic crisis” due to the suspension of foreign aid, the freezing of Afghan government assets, and international sanctions against the Taliban.
It is important to emphasize that on November 7, US Assistant to the President for National Security Jake Sullivan noted in an interview with CNN that the American authorities currently intend to continue to provide humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan through international and non-governmental organizations, and not directly through the current government. Moreover, on November 19, Thomas West confirmed US conditions for the Taliban to receive US financial and diplomatic support: counter-terrorism, create an inclusive government, respect the rights of minorities, women and girls, and ensure equal access to education and employment.
On the other hand, the Sputnik agency writes that the alarming vicious circle, into which humanitarian aid comes from outside, is clearly insufficient for the well-being of the 40 million population of Afghanistan. Additionally, the UN reported that 23 million people in Afghanistan are threatened with starvation. It was noted that, if urgent measures will not be taken, more than half of the country’s population would experience an acute food shortage.
Amir Khan Muttaki, foreign minister of the unrecognized Taliban government, last week in an open letter to the US Congress called for the release of Afghan assets frozen by the US and warned that domestic economic turmoil could lead to problems abroad.
In addition, on October 27, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi called on the Western countries, led by the United States as a whole, to lift sanctions and pragmatically interact with the Afghan Taliban.
The day before this statement, on October 26, the US Presidential Assistant for National Security Jake Sullivan said that the United States was ready to conduct constructive negotiations with Russia and China on the situation in Afghanistan. Moreover, yesterday, in an exclusive interview with Voice of America, Thomas West, the State Department’s special representative for Afghanistan, said the US sees and appreciates the important role of regional powers, including Russia, China and Pakistan, in achieving stability in Afghanistan.