US, Taliban agree to stay engaged in Doha meeting

US, Taliban agree to stay engaged in Doha meeting

Washington (Web Desk): The United States and Afghanistan’s de facto rulers agree to stay engaged in a two-day meeting concluded in Doha, Qatar.

This was the first in-person talks between the two sides in more than three months and the two sides agreed to continue their talks.

According to the Taliban statement issued after the meeting, talks focused on freeing frozen Taliban assets.

Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West and Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi led their respective delegations at the meeting.

Muttaqi’s spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi wrote on Twitter after the meeting that a US Treasury Representative also attended the meeting and spoke about their discussions with “the US Justice Department and other legal experts on frozen Afghan assets”.

A State Department official told Dawn that the US delegation included Treasury Deputy General Counsel Addar Levi and USAID Deputy Assistant Secretary Maria Longi. Balkhi said a White House official also came with them.

The United States does not recognise the Taliban government and a US official warned earlier this week that the Doha talks should not be interpreted as diplomatic recognition of Kabul’s current rulers.