Home Latest News U.S. Agrees to Provide Humanitarian Aid to Afghans, Claim Taliban

U.S. Agrees to Provide Humanitarian Aid to Afghans, Claim Taliban

by Newsweek Pakistan

Screengrab of Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen

According to Afghanistan’s new rulers, this aid will not be linked to Washington recognizing their new regime

The United States has agreed to provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, according to a statement issued by the Taliban on Sunday.

“U.S. representatives stated that they will give humanitarian assistance to Afghans and will provide facilities for other humanitarian organizations to deliver aid,” read the statement issued by the Taliban following the first direct talks between the new rulers of Afghanistan and the U.S. in Qatar over the weekend. It said that the Taliban would cooperate with “charitable groups delivering humanitarian assistance to those deserving transparently, and will facilitate the principled movement of foreign nationals.”

The Taliban clarified that this aid was not linked to Washington recognizing their new regime.

However, the U.S. has yet to confirm that it has agreed to providing aid to Afghanistan. Spokesperson Ned Price, in a statement, said the talks had been “candid and professional.” He stressed that the Taliban would be “judged on its actions, not only its words.” He also emphasized that both sides had discussed the provision of humanitarian assistance directly to the Afghan people.

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

In his statement, Taliban political spokesman Suhail Shaheen said the movement’s interim foreign minister had assured the U.S. that the Taliban were committed to seeing that Afghan soil was not used by extremists to launch attacks against other countries. However, the Taliban ruled out any cooperation with Washington on containing the Islamic State militant group, which has claimed responsibility for a number of recent attacks in Afghanistan.

“We are able to tackle Daesh independently,” claimed Shaheen to the Associated Press.

The talks between the U.S. and the Taliban occurred against the backdrop of international groups warning of a looming humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan amidst a soaring poverty rate and limited funding to maintain public services. Some 40 percent of the country’s GDP comes from aid, according to the World Bank, and the U.S.’s decision to freeze $10 billion of the country’s central bank assets has left the new rulers with little funding to govern.

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