Deeds Not Words: US Might Recognise Taliban's Government If It Respects Women's Rights
19:39 GMT 17.08.2021 (Updated: 20:09 GMT 17.08.2021)
© AP Photo / Mariam ZuhaibAfghan women walk on the road during the first day of Eid al-Fitr in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, May 13, 2021
© AP Photo / Mariam Zuhaib
The last time the Taliban* ran the country in the 1990s, it implemented the harshest interpretation of Sharia law and banned the female population from all work and educational opportunities while severely limiting their freedom of movement.
The US government has no plans so far to recognise the Taliban* as the new government of Afghanistan, but may still do so at some point, should some requirements be met, Department of State spokesman Ned Price has stated.
"A future Afghan government that upholds the basic rights of its people, that doesn't harbor terrorists and that protects the basic rights of its people including the basic fundamental rights of half of its population - its women and girls - that is a government that we would be able to work with", Price said.
The Taliban has already made a veiled statement saying that it will respect women's rights "within Sharia laws framework" and promised that the female population of the country will retain access to their jobs and education. The group also vowed to assemble an inclusive government, not to discriminate against people who hold beliefs different from Islam, and not to repress the people who helped the previous regime or the US and NATO troops.
However, statements alone will not satisfy Washington, which has conditioned the act of recognition on the "actions of the Taliban", not its words.
Ned Price dodged questions regarding the status of the previous government, whose leader, President Ashraf Ghani, fled the country before Kabul fell. Although his deputy, Vice-President Amrullah Saleh, declared himself an acting president, the Department of State spokesman noted that "there has not been a formal transfer of power".
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Even though Washington has not recognised the Taliban government, which came to power as a result of a massive and quick summer offensive, Ned Price said that the US is holding negotiations with it at the insurgent group's diplomatic base in Qatar. The Department of State spokesman said that some of the talks, such as the ones concerning the status of the Kabul airport, have been "constructive" without delving into details.