Talks expected.. Taliban hopes for ‘new chapter’ with US

The Taliban said Wednesday that next week’s talks with the United States will open a “new chapter” in political relations between the two sides.

The talks, scheduled for next week in Doha, are the second of their kind since the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan last August.

On Tuesday, Washington said it would continue talks with the Taliban after a meeting between the two sides in the Qatari capital on October 9 and 10.

On Twitter, the Taliban wrote: “A new phase of negotiations between Afghanistan and the US will begin next week in Qatar”.

Talks will focus “at this stage on opening a new chapter in political relations between the two countries, resolving economic issues and implementing the provisions of the previous Doha agreement”, AFP reported.

Conditional support

The U.S. State Department said yesterday that the proposed two weeks of negotiations with the Taliban would address issues such as combating the threat of ISIS and al-Qaeda, as well as humanitarian aid.

The talks will also focus on how to provide safe passage out of Afghanistan for American and Afghan citizens who have worked with Washington during the 20-year war, the department said.

The US delegation to the talks is led by special envoy for Afghanistan Thomas West, who stressed last week that any financial and diplomatic support from Washington for the Taliban is based on certain conditions.

West said that the Taliban must form an inclusive government, respect the rights of minorities, women and girls and provide equal opportunities in education and employment.

Last week, Amir Khan Muttaqi, the foreign minister of the Taliban government who is not recognized by the international community, called for the release of the Afghan assets frozen by the United States in an open letter to the US Congress.

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