US special envoy for Afghanistan to travel to Doha next week for talks with Taliban
US special envoy for Afghanistan Thomas West is set to visit Qatar next week to hold talks with the Taliban.
"I can confirm that next week Special Representative for Afghanistan Tom West will return to Doha for two weeks of meetings with Taliban leaders there," State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said in a press briefing on Tuesday (local time).
"They'll discuss our vital national interests when it comes to Afghanistan, that includes counterterrorism, that includes a safe passage for US citizens and for Afghans to whom we have a special commitment and that includes humanitarian assistance and the economic situation of the country," he added.
Earlier this month West had said that Washington is worried about the spike in attacks by Islamic State in Afghanistan and remains concerned about al Qaeda's presence in the country.
Newly appointed US special envoy spoke to reporters by telephone from Belgium, where he briefed NATO allies on the issues concerning Afghanistan.
He also held consultations on a "road map" toward recognition of the Taliban government after the US troop pullout in August, TOLOnews reported.
"The Taliban have voiced very clearly and openly their desire to normalize relations with the international community, to see a resumption in aid, to see a return of the international diplomatic community to Kabul and to see sanctions relief," he said.