In 2021, the USA left Afghanistan and the Taliban came to power. Ever since, the relationship between the government of this country and the rest of the world, including the United States, has only worsened. To make clear the roots of the problem, Kun.uz asked Secretary Blinken about the expectations of the US from the Taliban. In the interview with the publication, he also spoke about Uzbekistan’s role in resolving the Afghan issue.
“We do have contact with the Taliban ever since the takeover [...] But what happened at that time, among other things, was that the Taliban made certain commitments about how it would govern the country and engage with other countries.
At the same time, countries around the world made clear their expectations in a resolution of the United Nations Security Council: what is expected of the Taliban, including protecting human rights, especially, the rights of women and girls, including having inclusive governance with everyone brought in, not just the Taliban, including on freedom of movement for people to be able to go and come from Afghanistan as they want it and acting against terrorism, against extremism if it’s taking root in Afghanistan. But unfortunately, what we have seen ever since is a movement in the opposite direction by the Taliban, not making good on any of those commitments.
We’ve been the number one provider of humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan because we don’t want people to suffer, but they are. We are working very hard to make sure that food, medicine, and basic supplies are made available to them. The Taliban has made that difficult by prohibiting women’s participation in the delivery of humanitarian assistance. So, in each of these areas, things have gotten worse, not better.
If the Taliban expects to have more normal relations with other countries, including the United States, it knows what it has to do, it knows the expectations of the world, and, I think, countries like Uzbekistan and other Muslim-majority countries do have a special role to play because their voice may be more meaningful, more important to the Taliban than ours or other countries.
So, we appreciate and applaud the efforts that countries like Uzbekistan had made to communicate with the Taliban and to make clear what’s expected if they are going to have a more normal relationship with other countries,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said.