US to provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, says Taliban
- US refuses to recognise the Taliban leadership
- Taliban refused to work with US on containing the threat from Islamic State
- US-Taliban conducted their first talks in Qatar on Sunday
However, United States continues to not give political recognition to the new government in the South Asian country.
The statement from the Taliban comes after it held its first talks with American authorities after the long-drawn pullout of troops, which ended a two-decade-long war.
There was no immediate comment from the US on the weekend meeting, according to reports from Associated Press.
The Taliban said the talks held in Doha, Qatar, “went well,” with Washington freeing up humanitarian aid to Afghanistan after agreeing not to link such assistance to formal recognition of the Taliban.
The United States made it clear that the talks were in no way a preamble to recognition of the Taliban, who swept into power August 15 after the America-allied government led by Ashraf Ghani collapsed.
Taliban political spokesman Suhail Shaheen also told The Associated Press that the movement's interim foreign minister assured the United States during the talks that the Taliban are committed to seeing that Afghan soil is not used by extremists to launch attacks against other countries.
However, the Taliban also refused to work with American authorities on containing the threat from Islamic State in Afghanistan.
IS, an enemy of the Taliban, has claimed responsibility for a number of recent attacks, including Friday's suicide bombing that killed 46 minority Shiite Muslims. Washington considers IS its greatest terrorist threat emanating from Afghanistan.
“We are able to tackle Daesh independently,” Shaheen said when asked whether the Taliban would work with the U.S. to contain the Islamic State affiliate. He used an Arabic acronym for IS, according to reports from Associated Press.
Bill Roggio, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies who tracks militant groups, agreed the Taliban do not need Washington's help to hunt down and destroy Afghanistan's IS affiliate, known as the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, or ISKP.
The Taliban "fought 20 years to eject the US, and the last thing it needs is the return of the US It also doesn’t need US help,” said Roggio, who also produces the foundation's Long War Journal. “The Taliban has to conduct the difficult and time-consuming task of rooting out ISKP cells and its limited infrastructure. It has all the knowledge and tools it needs to do it", according to reports from Associated Press.
The IS affiliate doesn't have the advantage of safe havens in Pakistan and Iran that the Taliban had in its fight against the United States, Roggio said. However, he warned that the Taliban's longtime support for al-Qaida makes them unreliable as counterterrorism partners with the United States.
With inputs from Associated Press