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Taliban officials, US team discuss ties in Qatari capital

By Xinhua
Published : 10 Oct 2021 09:57 PM | Updated : 11 Oct 2021 10:56 AM

The Afghan Taliban announced on Saturday that a high-level delegation of its government met with a US delegation in the Qatari capital Doha, marking the first such gathering since the United States withdrew from Afghanistan in late August and the first foreign visit by the Taliban government officials.

The two sides discussed opening a new chapter of bilateral relations, and the Taliban officials called on the US side to lift the ban on the frozen assets in the Afghan Central Bank, said Amir Khan Muttaqi, acting foreign minister of the newly-formed administration.

The Taliban delegation also urged the US side to respect the sovereignty of Afghanistan's airspace and not to interfere in its affairs, he said, stressing the focus was on humanitarian aid and the implementation of all provisions of the Doha Agreement concluded between the two sides in February, 2020.

Read more: Taliban say they won’t work with US to contain Islamic State

The delegation will meet in the coming days with representatives of the European Union to discuss the latest developments, according to Muttaqi.

The Twitter account of a Taliban spokesman stated that on Friday a high-level delegation led by Muttaqi headed to Doha to meet with Qatari officials and representatives of other countries on the current political situation and the country's external relations.

Qatar plays a major role in the Afghan issue, as it facilitated the evacuation and transfer of tens of thousands of people from Kabul, helped reopen Kabul Airport to receive aid and flights, and provided financial aid to Afghanistan estimated at 50 million US dollars, according to official statements.

The Taliban has maintained a political office in Doha since 2013. The Qatari capital has for years witnessed negotiations between the Taliban and the United States and is where the peace agreement between the two sides was signed in February last year, which provided for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan.