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US Special Envoys For Afghanistan to Visit Regional Countries

The US Department of State said on Wednesday that the Special Representative for Afghanistan, Thomas West, and Special Envoy for Afghan Women, Girls, and Human Rights, Rina Amiri, will travel to Astana, Kazakhstan, and Doha, Qatar, from Juley 26 to 31.

“While in Astana, they will meet with colleagues from Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan for a C5+1 Special Session on Afghanistan. They will also meet with civil society members focused on advancing women’s economic empowerment in Afghanistan and Kazakhstan,” the statement read.

The statement added that the envoys will also meet with civil society members committed to advancing women’s economic empowerment in Afghanistan and Kazakhstan.

While in Doha, “They will meet with a delegation of Taliban representatives and technocratic professionals from Key Afghan ministers to discuss critical interests in Afghanistan,” the statement said.

“Priority issues will include humanitarian support for the people of Afghanistan, economic stabilization, fair and dignified treatment of all Afghans, including women and girls, security issues, and efforts to counter narcotics production and trafficking.”

In August 2021, after a 20-year conflict, US forces left Afghanistan. The Taliban took over the country amid the US withdrawal as the country’s Western-backed government collapsed.

The US still does not recognize the Taliban administration in Kabul and has imposed sanctions it is the group and its leaders.

Later on Wednesday, the State Department announced that the scheduled discussions in Doha do not represent a change in the US position.

“We have been very clear that we will engage with the Taliban appropriately when it is in our interest to do so,” spokesperson Vedant Patel told reporters.

“This is not intended to mean any indication of recognition, normalization, or legitimacy of the Taliban,” Patel said.