The U.S. will provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan but will not officially recognize the Taliban as the country's leaders, the Taliban said Sunday.
According to the Associated Press, the Taliban reported that talks between the U.S. and Afghanistan “went well.”
In a statement, U.S. officials said only that the two countries “discussed the United States’ provision of robust humanitarian assistance, directly to the Afghan people.”
State Department spokesman Ned Price added: “The U.S. delegation focused on security and terrorism concerns and safe passage for U.S. citizens, other foreign nationals and our Afghan partners, as well as on human rights, including the meaningful participation of women and girls in all aspects of Afghan society,” he said in a statement.
The Taliban quickly took over the country in August after the U.S. withdrew troops from the country.
Taliban political spokesman Suhail Shaheen also told The Associated Press that the interim foreign minister in Afghanistan said the new Taliban in power would work to keep extremists from launching attacks.
“We are able to tackle Daesh independently,” Shaheen said when asked whether the Taliban would work with the U.S. to contain the Islamic State group. He used an Arabic acronym for I.S.
According to the Associated Press, the Islamic State group is an enemy of the Taliban. Most recently, I.S. has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing that killed 46 minority Shiite Muslims.
Bill Roggio, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies who tracks militant groups, said the Taliban does not need America’s help to find and to eliminate Afghanistan’s I.S. affiliate, known as the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, or ISKP.
The Taliban “fought 20 years to eject the U.S., and the last thing it needs is the return of the U.S. It also doesn’t need U.S. help,” Roggio said. “The Taliban has to conduct the difficult and time-consuming task of rooting out ISKP cells and its limited infrastructure. It has all the knowledge and tools it needs to do it.”
But Roggio also warned that the Taliban could be unreliable as a partner to the U.S.
“It is insane for the U.S. to think the Taliban can be a reliable counterterrorism partner, given the Taliban’s enduring support for al-Qaida,” Roggio said.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Shan.shihan
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.