US and Taliban Official Meet, Washington Slams Kabul Over Human Rights

by | Aug 1, 2023

US and Taliban Official Meet, Washington Slams Kabul Over Human Rights

by | Aug 1, 2023

taliban talks doha

US officials met with Taliban diplomats in Qatar for two days of talks. The discussions come as Washington’s economic war in Kabul has caused severe suffering for the Afghan people two years after the end of the US military occupation. 

A State Department press release said Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West, Special Envoy for Afghan Women, Girls, and Human Rights Rina Amiri, and Chief of the Mission to Afghanistan Karen Decker met with senior Taliban officials on Sunday and Monday. 

The press release said the US officials chastised the Taliban over their human rights abuses. “US officials urged the Taliban to reverse policies responsible for the deteriorating human rights situation in Afghanistan, particularly for women, girls, and vulnerable communities.” The press release continues, “US officials expressed grave concern regarding detentions, media crackdowns, and limits on religious practice. The United States expressed support for the Afghan people’s demands for their rights to be respected and for their voices to shape the future of the country.”

Since returning to power in 2021, the Taliban have imposed bans preventing women from publically participating in society. However, Washington’s human rights record in Afghanistan is also abysmal. America’s two-decade occupation of Afghanistan was marked by mass killings of civilians, torture and support for warlords who habitually sexually abused young boys. 

During the talks, American and Taliban officials also discussed the Afghan economy. “The American delegation met with representatives of the Afghan Central Bank and Afghan Ministry of Finance to discuss the state of the Afghan economy and the challenges that the banking sector faces,” the press release said. “US officials took note of recent data indicating declining inflation, growth of merchandise exports and imports in Afghanistan in 2023, and voiced openness to a technical dialogue regarding economic stabilization issues soon.”

The Taliban press release stressed the need for Washington to lift sanctions and unfreeze Afghan central bank funds. “In the meeting, the two sides discussed confidence building, taking practical steps thereof, removing blacklists & lifting sanctions, unfreezing [Da Afghanistan Bank] reserves, economic stability of Afghanistan, countering narcotics, and issues on human rights,” it said. 

After President Joe Biden ended the American military occupation of Afghanistan, he imposed an economic war on Kabul and froze the country’s central bank assets. According to human rights groups, the sanctions and frozen funds have significantly damaged the Afghan economy. 

Last year, the UN warned that 95% of Afghans are not getting enough to eat and that nearly one-half of the population is facing acute hunger. Still, the White House has refused to relent in its economic war against the Central Asian country. 

US officials did make some positive notes about the Taliban rule. “US officials took note of the Taliban’s continuing commitment to not allow the territory of Afghanistan to be used by anyone to threaten the US and its allies, and the two sides discussed Taliban efforts to fulfill security commitments. The American delegation acknowledged that there has been a decrease in large-scale terrorist attacks against Afghan civilians.” The press release added, “The US took note of reports indicating that the Taliban’s ban on opium poppy cultivation resulted in a significant decrease in cultivation during the most recent growing season. US officials registered serious concerns regarding continuing trafficking and sale of processed opiates and synthetic drugs.”

During the Afghan War, the country was the world’s largest opium producer. After the Taliban took over the country two years ago, it outlawed poppy cultivation and opium production was eliminated. 


About Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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