Amid flurry of Taliban diplomacy, Qatar stresses engagement

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Qatar’s overseas minister stated isolating Afghanistan and its new Taliban rulers “will never be an answer” and argued Wednesday that participating with the previous insurgents may empower the extra reasonable voices amongst them.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani spoke amid a flurry of diplomatic conferences going down in Qatar, the place the Taliban have maintained a political workplace for years within the lead-up to their takeover of Afghanistan in August.

The world has been trying to see how the Taliban transition from twenty years of insurgency and battle to governance after they seized management of Kabul and the remaining of Afghanistan as U.S. and NATO forces withdrew from the nation.

This week, the United States, 10 European nations and European Union representatives held face-to-face talks with Taliban leaders in Doha, the Qatari capital — the primary such conferences because the Taliban blitz.

Al Thani informed an viewers of counterterrorism specialists in Doha that Qatar believes the worldwide neighborhood ought to urge the Taliban “to take the right steps and to incentivize” that — somewhat than speaking solely of penalizing them for “negative steps.”

“We see that it’s very important to provide guidance for them,” he stated. “This will create an incentive for progress and for the way forward.”

“This will help the moderate power (voices) to also provide an incentive to be more influential and more effective in their government,” Al Thani added.

U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price stated Washington has made it clear in talks with the Taliban this week that the group might be judged by their actions on points associated to combating terrorism and defending human rights.

He declined to debate “various carrots and sticks” approaches associated to Afghanistan’s central financial institution reserves, presently frozen overseas and inaccessible to the Taliban management.

“We engaged on a practical and pragmatic basis with the Taliban, as we have done in recent weeks, focusing on security and terrorism concerns,” Price informed reporters in Washington on Tuesday. The Taliban and U.S. share widespread concern concerning the extra radical Islamic State group in Afghanistan, however the Taliban have dominated out cooperation with the U.S. in preventing IS.

However, probably the most urgent challenge dealing with Afghanistan is deepening poverty, with the nation closely reliant on worldwide assist. Its monetary system is collapsing and hundreds of thousands face starvation. The Taliban are struggling to pay the wages of most academics, medical doctors and a few half-million civil servants. Prices of meals staples have elevated and the nation is struggling to import drugs as a result of it’s blocked from the worldwide monetary system.

The EU on Tuesday introduced a assist bundle price 1 billion euros ($1.15 billion), together with 300 million euros ($346 million) that had been dedicated earlier, to assist the Afghan individuals amid the disaster. The United States, the only largest donor to Afghanistan, supplied $330 million this yr.

“Isolation will never be an answer,” Al Thani stated on the Global Security Forum in Doha. “Engagement is required with whoever is governing Afghanistan because abandoning Afghanistan would be a big mistake.”

The discussion board, organized by The Soufan Center, drew audio system in-person and just about from U.S. safety and counterterrorism companies, in addition to officers and consultants from different nations.

Qatar’s function in stabilizing Afghanistan has change into more and more very important within the wake of America’s chaotic troop withdrawal and the hurried U.S. airlift of greater than 100,000 individuals from Kabul in August. The tiny gas-rich Arab nation served as a transit level for some 60,000 evacuees.

Qatar describes its function as that of a mediator in talks with the Taliban. The U.S.-Taliban deal referred to as the Doha Agreement was signed in Qatar in February 2020, paving the best way for the U.S. exit from Afghanistan.

The Taliban say they need worldwide recognition, warning that weakening their authorities will have an effect on safety and spark a fair larger exodus of migration from the nation. They additionally face an more and more energetic Islamic State group, which has ramped up assaults in latest weeks, together with a suicide bombing Friday at a Shiite mosque within the metropolis of Kunduz that killed 46 worshippers and injured scores.

The worldwide neighborhood has condemned some Taliban actions because the U.S.-backed Afghan authorities crumbled. The Taliban have introduced again public hangings and different brutal techniques. They have solely allowed ladies to return to major faculty however have barred them from going to highschool in all by one province. Women haven’t been allowed to return to work.

Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, who’s amongst these in Doha this week, stated the Taliban reject the imposition of exterior ideologies and political fashions on Afghanistan.

“The differences of ideas, ideologies, ethnicities, languages is a reality, and this reality must be acknowledged,” Muttaqi informed an viewers on the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies. “Just as we are able to grasp differences of others with us, our expectation is that others also grasp our differences with them.”

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