Washington: The US has said it expects “deeds, not words” and “follow through” on pledges by the Taliban to recognise the group diplomatically.
Addressing a press conference on Friday, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the Taliban has made clear that they would “they would like to see an American diplomatic presence remain” in Afghanistan.
They “have been quite clear and quite open in the fact that they would like other countries to retain their diplomatic missions”, he said, adding that a Taliban spokesperson had said the other day that “we appreciate the embassies that remain open and didn’t close. We assure them of their safety and protection”.
Price said the US is yet to take a call on the issue, but “it is something we are actively discussing, both with our partners and thinking about here as well”.
“We are not prepared to answer them today, precisely because we have heard a range of statements from the Taliban. Some of them have been positive, some of them have been constructive, but ultimately what we will be looking for, what our international partners will be looking for are deeds, not words,” he said.
“What we are going to be focused on in questions of any future diplomatic presence, any questions of recognition, any questions of assistance is follow-through — again, deeds, not words,” Price asserted.
He said though the Taliban have pledged publicly to provide safety and protection to the embassies, the US and its allies will look for an indication that “there is a substance, that there is merit to those statements, an indication that there will be follow-through before we make any such decisions”.
The US plans to get out of Afghanistan by August 31 and hand over the control of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul to the people of Afghanistan.
Replying to a question on if the Taliban will get the Afghanistan seat at the UN, Price said the US is not prepared to answer these questions today.
“Humanitarian assistance is a separate issue. We have proven in contexts that are varied and really encompass the world, the globe, that we can maintain a humanitarian commitment to, in this case, the Afghan people in ways that does not have any funding or assistance passed through the coffers of a central government,” he said.
“So that commitment will remain. I expect the US will continue to be a very generous donor to the Afghan people. Over the course of the past 20 years, it’s nearly USD 4 billion. It is a quarter a billion dollars we allocated just this summer, and the President just a few days ago allocated another 500 million to support internally displaced persons inside Afghanistan, Afghan refugees, and Afghans around the world who may be in need of assistance,” Price said. PTI