US Connect with Afghan when it’s in Concern
September 11, 2021
The US would participate with the Taliban if it was in America’s best interests, but it is not yet willing to recognize the Taliban government. During a news briefing on Thursday afternoon, State Department spokesperson Ned Price also stated that Pakistan shared the international community’s concerns about Afghanistan and wanted to protect the gains made over the last 20 years.
“There is a distinction between broad issues like recognition and legitimacy and practical engagement,” Mr Price said as he explained how the Biden administration intends to take part with the Taliban. “I think you’ve heard from us, and you’ve heard from other governments, that when it is in our national self-interest to engage the Taliban, we will do so,” he said, adding that at the ministerial meeting, “we heard a similar viewpoint from other countries involved as well.”
When asked about Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan, Mr. Price said Islamabad communicated its position at a recent ministerial meeting co-hosted by the US and Germany. “Pakistan was involved in the ministerial meeting, and we heard very similar sentiment from Pakistanis to what we heard from other countries that participated”. “There was broad agreement, including from our Pakistani partners, that the gains of the previous 20 years should not be wasted.”
On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas co-hosted an Afghanistan ministerial meeting. Pakistan and India attended the meeting, as did a dozen other countries and international organizations such as the European Union, NATO, and the United Nations. Secretary Blinken used his speech to call for unity in preventing a humanitarian crisis and holding the Taliban accountable for counterterrorism, safe passage for foreign and Afghan citizens, and the formation of an inclusive government that respects basic human rights.
According to Secretary Blinken, the US will continue to “use economic, diplomatic, and political tools to support the rights of the Afghan people, particularly women and girls, and to maintain that Afghanistan does not become a safe haven for terrorism.” Participants, particularly Afghanistan’s neighborhood, agreed to do everything “we can” to prevent a worsening of the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan, according to Mr. Price.
“And this is especially sharply held and felt by those countries that border Afghanistan, knowing that the humanitarian implications for those countries in the region could be severe”. “That is why the US was analyzing its bilateral assistance to the Afghan government and has continued to provide humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people,” Mr. Price explained.
Even in recent months, the US has offered hundreds of millions of dollars in humanitarian aid to Afghans. In June, the US provided more than $250 million to Afghans, which was increased to $500 million in July. Some of this is earmarked for internally displaced people within Afghanistan. “It’s a long-term commitment felt deeply not only by the US, but also by countries in the region and beyond,” Mr. Price said.