No support for Taliban unless they respect human rights: US

The Taliban cannot expect respect and support from the international community until they respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Afghans, including women and girls, a US State Department official said in reaction to recent restrictions imposed by the Taliban on women in Afghanistan.

“We condemn in the strongest terms the Taliban’s actions,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a press briefing on Thursday. “The United States stands with the Afghan people, and we remain committed to doing all we can to promote and to advance the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Afghans, including – again, of course, – both women and girls.”

He said the US seeks to make very clear to the Taliban that it cannot have it both ways, that it can fail to uphold its commitments to the Afghan people and thereby close all avenues of opportunity for improved relations.

“We are doing that ourselves, but much more importantly, we’re acting in a coordinated way with dozens of countries around the world to signal very clearly both in words and in deed, including the actions that we made public yesterday, that any Taliban illusion that they can continue to take this approach when it comes to their own people is nothing more than an illusion if they do seek improved relations with the rest of the world,” he said.

Meanwhile, US special envoy for Afghanistan, Thomas West, in a tweet said that he consulted with German allies in Berlin regarding “how we support Afghan people by getting women back to work delivering vital aid.”

He said this is a tough juncture for Afghans in need and for all countries that want to see a more stable economy.

The US State Department on Wednesday announced visa restrictions for six Taliban officials. Price said due to visa confidentiality laws, they are unable to name the individuals who are subject to this policy.

An analyst in political affairs said the global pressures on the Taliban would not leave any impact on the group.

“This is because the Taliban has fought for these restrictions for years,” said Wali Frozan, an analyst.

This comes as Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhunzada has said that global pressures on the group – over its restrictions on women’s rights in Afghanistan – “would not leave an impact” but it will and has increased a lack of trust environment in their relationship with the world, two sources aware of the matter said on Friday.