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World News24

World News24

World News24

Honest dialogue' being held with Taliban: US special envoy for Afghanistan

Posted on January 30 2022, 04:46am

Honest dialogue' being held with Taliban: US special envoy for Afghanistan

KABUL: US special representative to Afghanistan, Thomas West has said that there are some productive relationships being formed and there is "honest dialogue" between the US and members of the Islamic Emirate, local media reported.

"On the matter of trust, what I would tell you is that I do think we are building some productive relationships and an honest dialogue with members of the Taliban," West said during an interview with Tolo News.

He continued saying that there are some "issues that need trust-building such as women's rights and the space for journalists to continue their work."

"On certain issues, yes, we are developing a greater candour and honesty with one another. I think our conversation regarding terrorism is also more honest than it was before," Tolo News quoted the US envoy as saying.

While asked about the girls' access to education, the US envoy said that the Afghans "are going to decide what is best for the country" but the girls' return to all levels of schools after Nawroz, the solar new year in March, is the "clear desire" of the international community.

West told Tolo News that donors are working to provide a large fund for the Afghan education sector but the international community would expect "in return" the reopening of schools at "all levels" for girls and women.

In response to a question over whether the Islamic Emirate will stay committed to its promises of reopening girls' schools, the US envoy said that he is "cautiously" optimistic.

The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated drastically since the Taliban took control of Kabul in mid-August last year.

A combination of a suspension of foreign aid, the freezing of Afghan government assets, and international sanctions on the Taliban, have plunged the country, already suffering from high poverty levels, into a full-blown economic crisis. 

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