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Biden Will Provide Humanitarian Aid To Afghanistan

According to the Taliban, the US has promised to send humanitarian help to a critically destitute Afghanistan on the verge of economic collapse while refusing to recognize the country’s new Taliban leadership.

The announcement came at the conclusion of the first direct discussions between the former adversaries since the haphazard departure of American soldiers in late August.

The US statement said simply that the two parties “addressed the United States’ supply of substantial humanitarian assistance, directly to the Afghan people.”

The Taliban stated the Doha negotiations “went smoothly,” with Washington releasing humanitarian supplies to Afghanistan after agreeing not to condition it on official recognition of the Taliban.

The US made it clear that the negotiations were not a prelude to recognizing the Taliban, who took control on Aug. 15 when the US-backed government fell.

The talks were “frank and professional,” according to State Department spokesman Ned Price, with the US side emphasizing that the Taliban will be evaluated on their deeds, not just their words.

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

Suhail Shaheen, a Taliban political spokesperson, also told The Associated Press that during the meetings, the movement’s temporary foreign minister promised the US that the Taliban are committed to ensuring that extremists do not use Afghan land to conduct attacks against other nations.

The Taliban, on the other hand, said on Saturday that they would not work with the US to combat the Islamic State’s growing presence in Afghanistan.

IS, a Taliban foe, has claimed responsibility for a slew of recent assaults, including a suicide bomber that killed 46 Shiite Muslims on Friday. IS is seen by Washington as the largest terrorist danger originating from Afghanistan.

When asked if the Taliban will collaborate with the US to restrict the Islamic State offshoot, Shaheen responded, “We are capable of tackling Daesh individually.” IS was abbreviated in Arabic by him.

Bill Roggio, a senior scholar at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies who studies terrorist organizations, concurred that the Taliban do not require US assistance in tracking down and destroying the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, or ISKP, in Afghanistan.

The Taliban “worked for 20 years to expel the United States, and the last thing it needs now is for the United States to return.” It also doesn’t require assistance from the United States,” said Roggio, who also edits the foundation’s Long War Journal. “The Taliban must carry out the arduous and time-consuming task of eliminating ISKP cells and infrastructure. It contains all of the necessary information and tools.”

The IS offshoot lacks the safe havens in Pakistan and Iran that the Taliban enjoyed in their battle against the US, according to Roggio. He did caution, though, that the Taliban’s long-standing backing for al-Qaida makes them untrustworthy as counter-terrorism allies with the US.

Before the 9/11 attacks, the Taliban offered al-Qaida a safe haven. This sparked the United States’ invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, which ousted the Taliban from power.

“Given the Taliban’s ongoing backing for al-Qaida, it’s crazy for the US to assume the Taliban can be a dependable counterterrorism partner,” Roggio added.

Officials from the United States were anticipated to push the Taliban to allow Americans and others to leave Afghanistan during the meeting. The Taliban stated in their statement that they would “enable principled movement of foreign nationals,” but did not elaborate.

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