According to the Arab channel Al Jazeera, the leaders of the Taliban movement (described as terrorist and banned in the Russian Federation) met with US officials in Qatar for the first time since they returned to power in Afghanistan two years ago.
Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Kahar Balkhi said the two sides discussed confidence-building measures during the two-day talks, including the lifting of sanctions and travel bans, and the return of Afghan central bank assets held overseas. The delegations also discussed issues of combating drugs and human rights, said Abdul Kahar Balkhi.
US officials again called on the Taliban* to lift bans on girls' secondary education and women's employment, and to release American detainees, Al Jazeera reported. The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Central Bank of Afghanistan and the Ministry of Finance of the country. The US froze about $7 billion of Afghan central bank funds held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York after the Taliban came to power*.
Al Jazeera recalls that so far no country has officially recognized the Taliban since its return to power. Before the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the Taliban were officially recognized by three states - the United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
In August 2021, the Taliban regained power in Afghanistan after a chaotic withdrawal of US troops from the country.