News ID: 107895
Publish Date : 17 October 2022 - 22:27

DOHA (Al Jazeera) – The United States has assured Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers that Washington will not fund any armed groups or non-state actors in the country, Taliban sources have told Al Jazeera.
The assurances were welcomed by the Taliban as Tajik armed groups, which have been backed by the West in the past, continue to challenge the group’s leadership – even as it has managed to contain the Tajik-dominated National Resistance Front and other groups aligned with the former Western-backed government since it returned to power in August last year.
The assurances were given during a meeting between U.S. Department of State officials and Taliban representatives in Doha earlier this month.
While few details about the meeting in the Qatari capital are available, Taliban sources told Al Jazeera its members met with members of a high level U.S. delegation, including CIA deputy director.
This meeting was the first since July when the U.S. said it killed al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a drone attack on his hiding place in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul.
Al-Zawahiri’s presence in Afghanistan led the West to accuse the Taliban of violating the 2020 Doha Agreement, in which the Afghan group agreed not to provide safe haven to Al-Qaeda and other armed groups.
The Taliban swept into power last year in a lightning offensive but violence by armed groups such as Daesh affiliate ISKP has surged in recent months, posing a security challenge to the group.
In the meeting, the Taliban also conveyed its rejection of the U.S. announcement that it would transfer $3.5bn in frozen Afghan central bank assets into a Swiss-based trust, according to the Taliban sources, who have knowledge about the meetings.
Last month, the Taliban said the U.S. decision to put part of nearly $10bn in Afghan assets – which it froze last August in an attempt to keep the Taliban from accessing it – into trust was “unacceptable and a violation of international norms”.
The U.S. announcement had said the fund will be managed by an international board of trustees and used for debt payments, electricity, food, printing new currency and other essential needs and services.

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