After confirming earlier in the day that the new round of negotiations with the United States will start next week in Qatar, the Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen pointed on Wednesday they want to discuss the recognition of their government as well as the issues of unfreezing of Afghan assets and the US participation in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.
Shaheen noted that the recognition of the government of the Islamic State of Afghanistan is necessary for mutual relations and for their investment in the country as well as participation in the reconstruction of Afghanistan.
They also stressed the importance of unfreezing the reserves of the Afghanistan bank since the Afghans are currently battered by the deepening economic, humanitarian, and security crises, prompting even the UN and some human rights groups to repeatedly urge the US to prevent the country’s economic collapse by unfreezing Afghan assets.
The US froze billions of dollars in assets belonging to the Afghan Central Bank at the same time when the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund suspended financial aid which, before the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in mid-August, had accounted for nearly 75% of Afghanistan’s public expenditure.
Meanwhile, the US State Department spokesperson Ned Price confirmed on Tuesday that the US Special Representative for Afghanistan, Tom West, will visit Doha next week for two weeks of meetings with Taliban leaders.
Price said that the meetings’ agenda includes the US vital national interests when it comes to Afghanistan, including counterterrorism, safe passage for US citizens, humanitarian assistance, and the economic situation of Afghanistan.
West attended earlier this month a meeting of the extended Troika – Pakistan, China, Russia, and the US – to discuss Afghanistan followed by a meeting with senior Taliban representatives.