Delegates leave for Doha to meet with US envoy


A delegation of the Islamic Emirate led by acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi flew to Qatar’s capital Doha on Thursday afternoon, the foreign ministry said.

The Foreign Ministry’s spokesman, Abdul Qahar Balkhi, said in a tweet on Thursday: “The delegation consists of representatives from the Ministries of Education, Health, Finance, Security, and Da Afghanistan Bank.”

Earlier, Balkhi said that the delegation is due to discuss a round of issues with the US and European Union, including the reopening of foreign embassies and the release of Afghan assets.

The US special envoy for Afghanistan, Thomas West, in an interview with media said that he will visit Doha to meet the officials of the Islamic Emirate.

“Some 75 percent of the former government’s public expenditures were foreign-donor funded, some 40 percent of the country’s GDP was foreign-donor funded,” West said. “… In our engagement, frankly, our allies and partners’ engagement with the Taliban over a period of years, we made clear that if it chose a military path to power that aid would disappear, and that is what occurred.”

The US envoy was critical of Pakistan’s policy toward Afghanistan. The Islamic Emirate welcomed the resumption of negotiations with the US.

“The Islamic Emirate has a moderate and balanced policy towards neighboring, regional and world countries.

The countries which have concerns–it is their own business,” said Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman for the Islamic Emirate.

Political analysts believe that Pakistan’s close ties with China will undermine its relations with the US.

“Something that created problems for the US was the visit of Faiz Hamid (Pakistan’s ISI chief,) and his role in the formation of the cabinet.

This will make the recognition and release of (Afghan) assets by the US problematic,” said Shukria Barakzai, former Afghan ambassador to Norway.— Agencies

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