United States has assured to help the Taliban regime vaccinate Afghans against coronavirus. “The delegation from US decided that they will cooperate with us in vaccination and will provide human cooperation,” foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said. The Taliban also warned the United States against destabilising the government in Afghanistan after the two sides held their first face-to-face talks since the Taliban took over Afghanistan amid the US troop withdrawal in mid August.  Muttaqi told the Afghan state news agency Bakhtar after talks in Qatar capital Doha that the US side had been told that good relations with Afghanistan are “good for everyone” and nothing should be done to weaken the existing government. 

Explained: How division among Taliban groups impacts Afghanistan

Muttaqi’s remarks came on the first of two days of talks with a US team led by the State Department’s Deputy Special Representative Tom West and top USAID humanitarian official Sarah Charles.

The talks are being held as the Taliban are dealing with the aftermath of series of attacks by the Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K). The IS-K claimed a bombing of a Shiite mosque that left more than 60 people dead on Friday and is said to be asserting its presence in Afghanistan as the Taliban attempt to consolidate their rule over the country.

Under Taliban’s rule, no women in Ministry of Women Affairs in Afghanistan

IS-K has also claimed several attacks against the Taliban, including for a series of bomb attacks in the city of Jalalabad in eastern Afghanistan, that left eight people, including several Taliban fighters, dead.

The Taliban raided an IS hideout just north of Kabul in Parwan province after a roadside bomb wounded four Taliban fighters in the area.

Muttaqi said the Taliban wanted to hold meetings with other countries as well as the US to discuss the Afghanistan situation, reports news agency AFP.

Before the talks, a US State Department official said its priorities were securing safe passage for US and other citizens who want to leave Afghanistan, and making sure the Taliban does not allow “terrorists” to operate on Afghan soil.

“This meeting is not about granting recognition or conferring legitimacy. We remain clear that any legitimacy must be earned through the Taliban’s own actions,” the official said.