US says Taliban talks in Doha were 'candid and professional'

On Saturday, Afghanistan's acting foreign minister told Al Jazeera that Taliban representatives asked the United States in the talks to lift a ban on Afghan central bank reserves.Biden administration officials told Reuters on Friday the US delegation would press the Taliban to release kidnapped US citizen Mark Frerichs. Another top priority would be to hold the Taliban to their commitment not to allow Afghanistan to again become a hotbed for Al-Qaeda or other extremists. The Taliban took back power in Afghanistan 20 years after they were ousted in a US-led invasion for refusing to hand over Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden following the Sep 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. The officials said the meeting was a continuation of "pragmatic engagements" with the Taliban and "not about granting recognition or conferring legitimacy" to the group, which took control of Afghanistan in August. US officials say they are in contact with dozens of Americans and legal permanent residents who wish to leave Afghanistan and there are thousands of US-allied Afghans at risk of Taliban persecution still in the country. Washington and other Western countries are grappling with difficult choices as a severe humanitarian crisis looms large in Afghanistan. They are trying to work out how to engage with the Taliban without granting the group the legitimacy it seeks, while ensuring humanitarian aid flows into the country.

US says Taliban talks in Doha were 'candid and professional'

On Saturday, Afghanistan's acting foreign minister told Al Jazeera that Taliban representatives asked the United States in the talks to lift a ban on Afghan central bank reserves.

Biden administration officials told Reuters on Friday the US delegation would press the Taliban to release kidnapped US citizen Mark Frerichs. Another top priority would be to hold the Taliban to their commitment not to allow Afghanistan to again become a hotbed for Al-Qaeda or other extremists.

The Taliban took back power in Afghanistan 20 years after they were ousted in a US-led invasion for refusing to hand over Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden following the Sep 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

The officials said the meeting was a continuation of "pragmatic engagements" with the Taliban and "not about granting recognition or conferring legitimacy" to the group, which took control of Afghanistan in August.

US officials say they are in contact with dozens of Americans and legal permanent residents who wish to leave Afghanistan and there are thousands of US-allied Afghans at risk of Taliban persecution still in the country.

Washington and other Western countries are grappling with difficult choices as a severe humanitarian crisis looms large in Afghanistan. They are trying to work out how to engage with the Taliban without granting the group the legitimacy it seeks, while ensuring humanitarian aid flows into the country.