|Afghan Security Forces|
A negotiated and political settlement has long been on the wish list of the world, including the United States, India, and the United Nations Security Council.
WASHINGTON: The US is ready to cooperate with the Taliban if they preserve its people’s “fundamental rights,” particularly those of women and children, and do not harbour terrorists, according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken in an interview with CNN on Sunday.
The insistence on a peaceful, negotiated solution following the Taliban’s quick return to power is missing from the list.
“A future Afghan government that protects fundamental human rights and does not harbor terrorists is a government we can work with and recognize,”
Blinken said in answer to a question on whether the Biden administration would ever consider recognizing the Taliban-led government.
“On the other hand, a government that does not do that, that does not protect the basic rights of its people, including women and girls… that harbours terrorist groups… with designs on the United States… that is not going to happen,”
When and if they are in government, they may require assistance and support from the international community, the secretary said, adding that “none of that will be forthcoming, sanctions will not be lifted, and their ability to travel will not be possible” if they do not uphold the basic rights of the Afghan people and revert to supporting or harbouring terrorists who may strike the country.
A negotiated, peaceful, and a political settlement has been a significant element of the world’s wishlist – definitely for the United States, India, and the United Nations Security Council – for acknowledging and working with the Taliban, as well as respect for basic rights and cutting any links with terrorists.
During a July visit to India, Blinken told a news conference, “There is only one path (for the Taliban to seek international recognition), and that is at the negotiating table to resolve the conflict peacefully and to have an Afghanistan emerge that is governed in a genuinely inclusive and representative manner of all its people.”
During a briefing of the UN Security Council on August 6, a US official was more straightforward. “We will not allow a military takeover of Afghanistan,” stated US Permanent Mission to the UN Ambassador Jeffrey DeLaurentis.
He went on to say that if the Taliban goes down that road, it would become an international pariah. It did, however, choose that course.
According to Reuters, envoys from the United States, China, the European Union, India, Pakistan, and other nations told Taliban and Afghan government representatives in Doha on Thursday that no country will recognize any government “imposed via the use of military force.”