New US ambassador to Afghanistan to meet Taliban in Pakistan

15:32, 10 November 2021
New US ambassador to Afghanistan to meet Taliban in Pakistan Photo: Xinhua/Global Look Press

Thomas West is expected to meet the Taliban* FM Amir Khan Muttaqi this Thursday.

US special envoy to Afghanistan Thomas West will meet the Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi in Pakistan this Thursday, the US and Pakistani officials announced on Wednesday.

West along with diplomats from China and Russia will hold a meeting in the “troika” plus format in capital Islamabad, an anonymous Pakistani official specified.

It will be West’s first official visit to Asia after he took the post of Zalmay Khalilzad who resigned in October.

Apart from Pakistan, the new emissary will later visit Russia and India where he is expected to meet diplomats of Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan to discuss regional security issues. India’s rival Pakistan has refused to participate in the summit, as well as Islamabad’s ally China.

West is currently staying in Brussels, Belgium, where he discussed the situation in Afghanistan with NATO members after the Taliban urged the international community to provide humanitarian aid, improve relations with the movement and lift sanctions. During the Brussels meeting, NATO representatives have also raised concerns about recent attacks carried out by ISIL’s local branch in Afghanistan, IS-K.

Spokesperson for the US Department of State Ned Price has earlier told during a press conference that the US intended to keep insisting on what they expected from the recently formed Afghan government. He added that the visit focuses on preventing a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan as the UN had earlier warned that the country remains on the edge of famine ahead of the upcoming tough winter.

According to the recent World Food Programme report, around 23 mln Afghan citizens are classified as “people in need”.

*Taliban, ISIL, IS-K are terror organizations banned in the US, Russia and many other countries.