Expect to have real, inclusive government in Afghanistan: US Secretary of State

We’ll see what actually comes out, but I have to tell you that as important as the looks of the government, even more important is what a government does. And that’s what we really pay attention to. We look at what actions, what policies each new Afghan government is pursuing. That’s the most important thing, he said.

The government is expected to be inclusive, but ultimately a government is expected that honors the Taliban’s commitments, particularly with respect to freedom of travel, and does not allow Afghanistan to be used as a starting point for terrorism against the US or any of its allies and Partners who uphold the fundamental rights of the Afghan people, including women and minorities, and who do not participate in reprisals, Blinken said.

These are the things that we look at. And again not just us, many countries around the world, he said.

The United States, Blinken said, is determined to look at and learn from everything that has been done from day one until today. I think that there has to be a review of the entire 20 years in the entire Foreign Ministry in order to understand the entire course of this war and the engagement in Afghanistan, to ask the right questions and to draw the right lessons from it, he said.

Blinken said American diplomacy with allies and partners will continue to intensify.

This diplomacy has already resulted in a declaration signed by more than 100 countries and the UN Security Council resolution, which sets out the expectations of the international community for a Taliban-led government, including freedom of movement; Fulfillment of its counter-terrorism obligations; Upholding the fundamental rights of Afghans, including women and minorities; and forming an inclusive government and rejecting reprisals, he said.

The Foreign Minister will travel to Qatar and Germany to hold meetings with his friends and allies to intensify diplomacy on the currently evolving situation in Afghanistan.

On Sunday I will go to Doha where I will meet with Qatari guides to express our deep gratitude for everything they are doing to support the evacuation effort. I will also have the opportunity to meet Afghans, including our local embassy staff in Kabul who are now safely preparing in Doha for their trip to the United States, he said.

From there, Blinken will travel to Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany, where he will have the chance to meet Afghans waiting to be processed to the US and the Americans occupying those efforts.

I am also meeting with Foreign Minister Heiko Maas from Germany, and we will hold a ministerial meeting on Afghanistan live and then virtually with him and then virtually with other partners, including more than 20 countries, all of whom are involved in the resettlement and relocating Afghans and the Taliban to keep its commitments, he said.

Later, Deputy Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Dean Thompson told reporters that Blinken has no plans to meet the Taliban leadership in Doha.

No meetings are currently planned with the Taliban in Doha. This is very focused on our relationship with Qatar, we thank them for the incredible support they have given as well as on the German side. That will be a fundamental message throughout the trip, he said.

The US is observing developments in Afghanistan very closely and attentively.

I think it’s too early to make a clear judgment. Reports that we have received of violations of fundamental human rights, and in particular restrictions on women, girls and everything of that nature, are very worrying and will definitely continue to be brought up, he said.

At the same time, I would like to note that there has been a collaboration with the Taliban to influence the huge operation of the past few weeks, and so I think that the Taliban have made some good statements, as I said, or some positive statements are a better way of saying it say, but their actions will prevail, he said.

We will continue to really evaluate that. And I think, in a broader sense, it’s not just the actions of an individual person, but their ability to ensure that they meet their commitments across the country that they have made, Thompson said.

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