US and IEA delegates to resume talks in Doha
US special envoy for Afghanistan Thomas West will return to Doha next week for talks with Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) officials, the US State Department said on Tuesday.
Afghan Voice Agency (AVA)_Addressing a press briefing, State Department spokesman said talks between the two parties will focus on a number of issues including counterterrorism, humanitarian aid, and the economic situation in the country.
“I can confirm that next week Special Representative for Afghanistan Tom West – he’ll return to for two weeks of meetings with Taliban (IEA) leaders there.
“They’ll discuss, as I said before, our vital national interest when it comes to Afghanistan. That includes counterterrorism, that includes safe passage for U.S. citizens and for Afghans to whom we have a special commitment, and that includes humanitarian assistance and the economic situation of the country.”
West recently took over as special envoy after Zalmay resigned from the post.
“Tom West has been on the job now for I think some six weeks, and in that time he has already been busy. Just before he was named to this role, as you recall, he traveled to Doha to meet directly with the Taliban (IEA) as part of an interagency delegation.
“He not all that long ago traveled to Europe and Russia and India to discuss the way forward on Afghanistan with our allies and partners. In many of those conversations, we discussed those issues that are of core national interest to us – counterterrorism, safe passage. But again, a key theme was humanitarian assistance and what the United States, together with the international community, might do to alleviate the humanitarian plight that now confronts the people of Afghanistan,” said Price.
He also said that the US has spoken of the humanitarian assistance that the United States has pledged to Afghanistan – $474 million in this year alone – and what is doing to facilitate the provision of humanitarian aid and assistance to the people of Afghanistan.
He said: “To make clear that humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan is something that we strongly support.”
Price also stated that the US is committed to countering ISIS-K () and ensuring that Afghanistan never again becomes a safe haven for terrorism.
“We’re working with our international partners, including under the auspices of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, to deny the group, as you saw the other day, access to financing; to disrupt, to deter foreign terrorist fighters from reaching Afghanistan and the region, as – just as we are continuing using multiple tools to counter ISIS-K’s pernicious ideology.
“We are committed to disrupting illicit financing, limiting their abilities to conduct further attacks against civilians, and supporting our partners in counterterrorism and disrupting .”