The United States on Wednesday said that it was not in a rush to recognise the new interim government in Afghanistan formed by the Taliban.
“No one in this administration, not the President nor anyone on the national security team, would suggest that the Taliban are respected and valued members of the global community,” said White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki at a media briefing. “...This is a caretaker cabinet that does include four former imprisoned Taliban fighters.”
The statement came a day after the Taliban announced an all-male Cabinet for running its interim government. The Cabinet includes Sarajuddin Haqqani, the chief of militant group Haqqani Network who is named in the US’ Federal Bureau of Investigation’s most-wanted list for terrorism.
Haqqani was named the interior minister in the interim government. Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund, the head of Taliban’s decision-making body, was made the prime minister.
On Wednesday, Psaki said the Taliban has a lot to do before they can get any recognition. “What we are working to do is to engage with them, because they oversee and control Afghanistan right now, to get American citizens, legal permanent residents, SIV [special immigrant visa] applicants out of Afghanistan.”
The press secretary said that the US as well as the international community were watching the actions of the Taliban regime.
“It’s whether they let people depart the country who want to depart; whether they treat women across the country as they have committed to treat them and how they behave and operate,” she said. “And therefore, we’re not moving toward recognition.”
Taliban need to earn legitimacy for its government: Antony Blinken
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the Taliban will have to earn legitimacy or international support for its new interim government, reported AP.
Blinken said the new Afghan government “certainly does not meet the test of inclusivity and it includes people who have very challenging track records”.
The secretary of state also pointed out that the US’ engagement with the Taliban will be for advancing its the national interest and those of its partners.
The statement came during a virtual meeting of officials from 22 countries as well as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the European Union and the United Nations at a US base in Germany.
Blinken and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also called for pressing the Taliban to allow Afghans to travel freely and to respect the basic rights of its citizens, including women. They also demanded the Taliban to ensure that Afghanistan is not used to launch terror attacks, that it refrains from reprisal attacks and allows humanitarian access.
“It must be clear to the Taliban that international isolation cannot be in their interest,” Maas said. However, he added that no country wants to turn its back on Afghanistan and the international community must use what it can to influence the insurgent group.