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epa09355586 US State Secretary Antony Blinken listens during a cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington, DC, USA, 20 July 2021. Biden administration officials say they were starting to see signs of relief for the global semiconductor supply shortage, including commitments from manufacturers to make more automotive-grade chips for car companies. EPA/Al Drago / POOL

Blinken discusses Afghanistan with Qatari, Pakistani counterparts

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KABUL – The US State Department said that Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken in separate phone calls with his Qatari and Pakistani counterparts discussed the humanitarian and political situation in Afghanistan.

In a phone conversation with Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Monday they discussed “the destabilizing effects of Russia’s war against Ukraine as well as the United States and Pakistan’s shared interest in a peaceful and stable Afghanistan,” the US State Dept said.

In Blinken’s phone call with Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, they discussed “bilateral relations as well as “development in Afghanistan and ways to support the Afghan people,” said the US State Department.

“Democrats are under pressure from the Congress and the government to ensure that the Doha Agreement in the area of counterterrorism is correctly implemented. The second concern is that America does not want the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan to worsen,” said Tariq Farhadi, a political analyst.

Meanwhile, US House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul in a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed “strong opposition” to US government officials traveling to Afghanistan, saying “since taking power, the Taliban have only worsened their behavior despite US engagement.”

McCaul claimed: “Today, the Taliban continues to take Americans hostage, disrupt humanitarian assistance efforts, appoint al Qaeda officials to government positions, and enforce increasingly draconian rules on women and girls, such as barring them from receiving an education above the sixth grade.”

McCaul called on the US to “lead the international community in demanding reforms, not normalizing the Taliban’s regime.”

The Islamic Emirate’s spokesperson, Zabihullah Mujahid, expressed thanks for the US support for Afghanistan but asked that the US not hinder interaction and recognition of Afghanistan.

Mujahid asked the US to take the path of dialogue and diplomatic contact with the current government instead of creating obstacles.

“It is crucial that economic, commercial, and diplomatic support be given, and if support isn’t provided by any country, at least it should not harm Afghanistan, do not create obstacles, so Afghanistan can reach a certain place,” Mujahid said.

“Instead of interacting and accepting the current policy, you should take action to alter it and review your relationship with the Taliban. This opinion is held by one of the prominent political figures in the US, which also reflects the opinion of the majority of the Americans,” said Wais Naseri, a political analyst.

The US and the international community previously said that the establishment of an inclusive government, upholding the rights of women and girls, fighting terrorism, and preventing the use of Afghanistan’s territory against other countries are requirements for the recognition of the Islamic Emirate.

But the acting Minister of Defense, Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid, said recently that the US is an obstacle to the recognition of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

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