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U.S. delegation presses Taliban on women’s rights in Doha talks

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KABUL – United States officials stated on Monday that they had urged the Taliban to reverse policies responsible for the deteriorating human rights situation in Afghanistan. The U.S. side reiterated concerns about human rights, calling on the Taliban to reverse bans on girls’ education and women’s employment and release detained Americans. Additionally, they stressed the need to support aid organizations and UN bodies delivering humanitarian assistance.

A U.S. delegation led by Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West, Special Envoy for Afghan Women, Girls, and Human Rights Rina Amiri, and Chief of the U.S. Mission to Afghanistan Karen Decker continued discussions with senior Taliban representatives in Doha, Qatar.

During the talks in Qatar, American officials pressed the Taliban for the immediate release of detained US citizens. They also expressed openness to technical talks on economic stability and discussions on combating narcotics trafficking.

The Taliban officials raised concerns about the lifting of travel restrictions on their leaders and the return of Afghan central bank assets held abroad. A U.S.-funded audit of the Afghan central bank did not gain Washington’s backing for a return of assets from the trust fund.

Both sides voiced grave concerns regarding detentions, media crackdowns, limits on religious practice, and the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan.

Since taking power in August 2021, the Taliban has imposed strict rules, including bans on girls’ and women’s education and employment, leading to a humanitarian crisis in the country.

The American delegation in Doha urged the Taliban to reverse their policies affecting human rights, particularly for women, girls, and vulnerable communities, while expressing support for the Afghan people’s demands for their rights and voices to shape the country’s future.

The United States also called for the immediate and unconditional release of American citizens detained in Afghanistan.

Acknowledging the Taliban’s commitment not to allow Afghanistan to be used as a platform for attacks, the United States recognized a decrease in large-scale terrorist attacks against Afghan civilians.

The U.S. delegation also noted the Taliban’s ban on poppy cultivation, which has contributed to a significant decrease in opium production.

The delegation also met with representatives of the Afghan central bank and the Ministry of Finance to discuss economic stabilization issues.

In summary, the U.S. officials urged the Taliban to reverse policies affecting human rights, support humanitarian efforts, release detained Americans, and address economic stabilization in Afghanistan.

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