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US to hold talks with Taliban next week

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NEW DELHI, November 24

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Tom West will meet Taliban leaders in Doha over a period of two weeks to discuss counter-terrorism, safe passage for US citizens and Afghans, and humanitarian assistance, the US State Department announced here on Wednesday.

The intention is to ensure that Afghanistan does not emerge as a launching pad for operations that may pose a threat to the US, allies and partners. The US has discussed this counter-terrorism agenda with ISIS-K as the focus with friendly countries, said US State Department spokesperson Ned Price.

“We are committed to disrupting illicit financing, limiting ISIS-K’s abilities to conduct further attacks against civilians, and supporting our partners in counter-terrorism and disrupting terrorism finance,” added Price. West had recently visited India, Russia and Pakistan to discuss the Afghan situation.

“We have consistently said we are prepared to engage the Taliban on a practical, pragmatic basis on areas of core national interest to us. Of course, counter-terrorism and seeing to it that Afghanistan can never again be used as a launch pad for international attacks is a core national interest,” he said. — TNS

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