Washington [US], October 9 (ANI): A US delegation is set to travel to Qatar over the weekend to meet with senior Taliban representatives. This announcement was made by the US State Department on Friday.
This meeting will be the first in-person meeting between the two sides since the US drawdown from Afghanistan in August, Xinhua news agency reported.
The high-level delegation will include officials from the Central Intelligence Agency, the State Department, and the US Agency for International Development.
"This meeting is a continuation of the pragmatic engagements with the Taliban on issues of US vital national interest," State Department Spokesperson Ned Price told reporters.
While making the announcement, the spokesperson stated it is "not about granting recognition or conferring legitimacy."
Price said the key priorities of the meeting are the continued safe passage out of Afghanistan of the US and other foreign nationals and Afghans seeking to leave the country.
US officials in the meeting will also press the Taliban to respect women's rights, form an inclusive government, and allow humanitarian agencies free access to areas of need, the spokesperson added.
Since the Taliban's take over of Afghanistan, there are a handful of nations like China and Pakistan who have shown interest in establishing ties with the outfit. Other members of the international community are adopting a wait and watch policy. (ANI)