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US officials, Taliban in Qatar talks

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Taliban fighters working as a police force stand guard at the entrance gate of a police district in Afghan capital Kabul on October 3. AFP

US officials, Taliban in Qatar talks

US officials have met with senior Taliban representatives in Qatar to discuss security and human rights in Afghanistan, the Department of State said on October 10.

A US interagency delegation flew to the capital Doha on October 9-10 for talks “focused on security and terrorism concerns and safe passage for US citizens, other foreign nationals and our Afghan partners”, according to department spokesman Ned Price.

Other areas of focus were “human rights, including the meaningful participation of women and girls in all aspects of Afghan society”, Price said in a statement.

The two sides also discussed the US’ “provision of robust humanitarian assistance, directly to the Afghan people”.

According to the department, the discussions were “candid and professional” and US officials reiterated that “the Taliban will be judged on its actions, not only its words”.

The Taliban are seeking international recognition, as well as assistance to avoid a humanitarian disaster, after they returned to power in August following the withdrawal of US troops following 20 years of war.

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