Following two days of extensive negotiations in Qatar, the U.S. State Department reported on Monday that American representatives informed the Taliban in Afghanistan that Washington was willing to engage in technical talks about maintaining economic stability and combating drug trafficking.
Meanwhile, the Taliban representatives raised the issue of lifting the travel and other restrictions on their leaders and the return of Central Bank assets of the country held abroad, according to a statement released by the foreign ministry of Afghanistan.
The State Department reported that the American side reiterated its concerns about “deteriorating” human rights. It renewed its call on the Taliban to lift restrictions on women’s education and employment for girls and detained Americans in Afghanistan.
Additionally, it contained encouraging remarks regarding better financial data, including lower inflation and decreased opium poppy cultivation due to a 2022 prohibition. The U.S. side “voiced openness to continue dialogue on counternarcotics,” according to the statement. The American side was also prepared “for a technical dialogue regarding issues relating to economic stabilization soon,” Reuters reported.
“IEA reiterated that it was crucial for confidence-building” that travel bans on Taliban leaders be lifted and central bank reserves unfrozen “so that Afghans can establish an economy unreliant on foreign aid,” foreign ministry spokesman Qahar Balkhi said in an English-language statement.
Most Taliban leaders need U.N. permission to travel abroad, and sanctions have crippled Afghanistan’s banking sector since the Taliban took control of the country in August 2021.
Since then, no country has recognized the Taliban administration, including the U.S. and Pakistan.
Meanwhile, since August 2021, the Taliban authorities introduced several suppressive policies that banned women’s rights, including education and employment with national and international aid agencies.