Talks on "Economic Stability" of Afghanistan to Continue, Says Thomas West

7/27/2022

Thomas West, US Special Representative for Afghanistan, announced after the Tashkent conference that US officials will continue to talk with "Afghan technocrats and the Taliban regarding the economic stability" of Afghanistan.

The conversation on economic stability of Afghanistan continues when there are differences between the Taliban and the US about access to the national reserve of the Central Bank of the country.

With winter approaching and Afghanistan's economic situation worsening, West urged the Taliban to improve the country's economic situation. This comment by West refers to the negotiations between the US and the Taliban regarding Afghanistan's access to frozen funds.

In a series of tweets about the Tashkent conference, West seemed positive about the Taliban's fight against the Islamic State-Khurasan (IS-K), but he also expressed concerns about the presence of Al-Qaeda, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and other terrorist groups in Afghanistan.

At the Tashkent meeting, several regional governments also expressed similar concerns about terrorist threats emanating from Afghanistan. These concerns seemed legitimate as in at least two cases, rocket attacks had been launched towards Uzbekistan and Tajikistan from Afghanistan and recently a new terrorist group of Tajik militias has been formed in northern Afghanistan.

As discussions were also focused on the formation of an inclusive government in Afghanistan during the Tashkent conference, West also expressed the US government's desire to "support the intra-Afghan dialogues”. Taliban has never expressed interest or taken any practical steps regarding this issue despite it being raised by stakeholders at the Tashkent conference.

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