The US envoy to Afghanistan: Normalizing relations with the Taliban is not in the hands of Washington alone, and we are preparing for a new round of talks with it

The US special envoy to Afghanistan, Thomas West, said today, Monday, that the Taliban wants to normalize relations, but the matter is not in the hands of Washington alone, and indicated that his country is preparing for a new round of talks with the movement.

This came as West spoke to reporters by phone from Brussels, where he briefed Washington’s NATO allies on US talks with the Taliban and held consultations on a “road map” toward recognizing the government formed by the Taliban after their return to power and the US withdrawal from Afghanistan in August. the past.

The new US envoy, who was appointed to his post last month to succeed Zalmay Khalilzad, added that the United States wants the Taliban to fulfill its commitments and is working with Afghanistan’s neighbors to ensure security.

He pointed out that a new round of talks with the Taliban is being prepared, without giving further details. He indicated that he will soon visit Pakistan, Russia and India as part of the relentless efforts to return to normal life following the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan at the end of last August.

Last October, the Qatari capital, Doha, hosted the first direct meeting between senior US officials and the Taliban since the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.

West made it clear that the Taliban had abided by its commitments to the United States and recently allowed the Americans to leave, but he indicated that his country wanted to see the “responsible behavior” of the Taliban before assessing whether to reopen its embassy in Kabul.

The US official added that the United States is concerned about the increase in ISIS-Khorasan attacks in Afghanistan and is still very concerned about the continued presence of al-Qaeda there.

Since the Taliban returned to power nearly two months ago, Washington has frozen bilateral aid to Afghanistan, but says it continues to provide aid through non-governmental groups. There are calls for government reserves held in the United States to be made available to the new Taliban-led government, to ease the growing humanitarian crisis.

The Taliban is seeking to obtain international recognition of the legitimacy of its authority in Afghanistan and to obtain aid, in order to spare the country a humanitarian catastrophe and alleviate the stifling economic crisis it is suffering from.

The Foreign Minister in the Taliban government, Amir Khan Muttaki, confirmed that his country wants positive relations with the whole world, and believes in balanced international relations.

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