US special envoy due in Doha for talks with Taliban

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Newly appointed US special envoy spoke to reporters by telephone from Belgium, where he briefed NATO allies on the issues concerning Afghanistan….reports Asian Lite News

US special envoy for Afghanistan Thomas West is set to visit Qatar next week to hold talks with the Taliban.

“I can confirm that next week Special Representative for Afghanistan Tom West will return to Doha for two weeks of meetings with Taliban leaders there,” State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said in a press briefing on Tuesday (local time).

“They’ll discuss our vital national interests when it comes to Afghanistan, that includes counterterrorism, that includes a safe passage for US citizens and for Afghans to whom we have a special commitment and that includes humanitarian assistance and the economic situation of the country,” he added.

Earlier this month West had said that Washington is worried about the spike in attacks by Islamic State in Afghanistan and remains concerned about al Qaeda’s presence in the country.

Newly appointed US special envoy spoke to reporters by telephone from Belgium, where he briefed NATO allies on the issues concerning Afghanistan.

He also held consultations on a “road map” toward recognition of the Taliban government after the US troop pullout in August, TOLOnews reported.

“The Taliban have voiced very clearly and openly their desire to normalize relations with the international community, to see a resumption in aid, to see a return of the international diplomatic community to Kabul and to see sanctions relief,” he said.

Meanwhile, the US Congress members had introduced a bill for the Afghan War Commission to learn from mistakes made in the war-torn country for future conflicts.

“US Congressman Peter Meijer and Congressman Andy Kim introduced a bill to assess the Afghanistan war and experiences learned during the past 20 years the US has been in Afghanistan. It is called the “Afghanistan War Commission Act of 2021”, reported Tolo News.

The commission aims to make the results available to the public in an unclassified report, in order to learn from Afghanistan for the sake of future conflicts.

“The war in Afghanistan was a whole-of-government effort that – now concluded – demands an independent, whole-of-government assessment in order to learn what happened. This commission is essential to the future safety and security of our country,” said Congressman Kim.

“I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan piece of legislation that will create an independent commission because our country’s national security should not be partisan. I’m grateful for Congressman Meijer’s leadership on this issue and hope this is passed into law so that our country can do a comprehensive deep dive into the war in Afghanistan.”

The commission would probe the affairs of all US government agencies active in Afghanistan, including the Defense Department, State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and NATO, reported Tolo News.

Senator Tammy Duckworth introduced the companion bill in the US Senate. The bill in the committee in the US Senate has also earned bipartisan support. (ANI)

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