According to a report, the United States is exploring the possibility of reopening its consulate in Afghanistan under Taliban rule without formally recognizing the Taliban regime.
According to a newly released strategy document from the State Department, the United States is “cautiously” and without officially recognizing the Taliban, exploring the possibility of reopening its consulate in Afghanistan under the group’s control, as reported by the Voice of America.
This move indicates a possible change in U.S. policy, moving towards limited engagement with the isolated Islamist regime, to achieve various security, political, and economic objectives.
According to Voice of America, the State Department’s guidance in this report states: “We support transparency and accountability, along with access for American citizens to consular services, in coordination with the Taliban.”
Nevertheless, a State Department spokesperson told Khaama Press that there has been no change in the U.S. position, and they reiterated this stance. “no near-term plans to return any diplomatic functions to Kabul.”
Even though the strategy paper talks about planning to return to Kabul, the spokesperson didn’t provide any details about where and how they might set up a consular access mission in Kabul in the future.
In the new U.S. State Department report, it is stated: “Even as the United States does not officially recognize the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan, we must establish effective working relationships with them to advance our goals and increase our understanding of the Taliban’s readiness and ability to fulfil their commitments to [Washington].”
According to the report, the United States’ new strategy encompasses four areas, including counterterrorism efforts, economic assistance, local engagement, and the provision of consular services to American citizens, as well as aiding Afghan migration to the United States.
The document also emphasizes support for the work of the U.S. Special Envoy for Hostage Affairs in securing the release of American hostages detained in Afghanistan.
Voice of America also reports that the document underscores the United States’ commitment to discussing the fundamental rights of the Afghan people, particularly the rights of women and girls.
Following the fall of the previous government and the Taliban’s takeover, the United States closed its embassy in Afghanistan, and this institution currently operates under its staff in Doha.