U.S. officials will meet Taliban representatives and “technocratic professionals” from key Afghan ministries during a visit to Doha this week, the State Department said on Wednesday, adding they will discuss economic issues, security and women’s rights.
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 July 26 to July 31, the State Department said in a statement.
In Astana, they will meet with officials from Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to discuss Afghanistan, said the statement, which added the U.S. officials will also meet civil society members focused on women’s rights.
The U.S. officials will meet the Taliban delegation in Doha and discuss humanitarian support for Afghanistan, security issues, women’s rights, the Afghan economy’s stabilization, and efforts to counter narcotics production and trafficking, the State Department said.
The meetings do not “mean any kind of indication of recognition or any kind of indication of normalization or legitimacy of the Taliban,” said State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel when asked about the visit, reiterating U.S. concerns about human rights abuses and the marginalization of women and girls in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.