McCaul strongly cautions against traveling to Afghanistan, ‘normalizing’ the Taliban

US House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul in a statement on Monday expressed strong opposition to US government officials traveling to meet with the Taliban and legitimizing their de-facto governance of Afghanistan, which remains a contested situation.

In a letter addressed to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, McCaul stressed that the Taliban’s behavior has only worsened despite US engagement.

He pointed out that the Taliban “continues to take Americans hostage”, disrupt humanitarian assistance efforts, “appoint al-Qaeda officials to government positions”, and enforce increasingly draconian rules on women and girls, including barring them from receiving an education beyond the sixth grade.

McCaul urged the US to lead the international community in demanding reforms instead of normalizing the Taliban’s regime.

“I am writing to express my strong opposition to US government officials traveling to Taliban-controlled Afghanistan,” McCaul stated.

Following the disastrous US withdrawal from Afghanistan, no US government official has traveled to the country. Instead, US officials engage in weekly meetings with Taliban representatives in Qatar to ensure the ongoing evacuation of Americans and Afghan allies from Afghanistan, according to McCaul’s statement.

McCaul raised concerns about foreign officials’ recent trips to Afghanistan, warning that such visits contribute to normalizing the Taliban’s rule. He cited the example of a British Member of Parliament who faced backlash and had to apologize after downplaying the Taliban’s daily human rights abuses during a visit to Afghanistan.

Notably, no country has recognized the Taliban as the official government of Afghanistan due to their active support for al-Qaeda and their ruthless oppression of women and minorities, the US congressman said in his statement.

McCaul emphasized that traveling to Afghanistan to meet with the Taliban would legitimize their contested de-facto governance, doing nothing to advance US interests while potentially emboldening the Taliban’s debauchery.

Regarding any attempts by US officials to travel to Afghanistan under the current Taliban regime, McCaul asserted that such actions “would be an egregious betrayal of the fallen soldiers and the millions of Afghans who hope for a free, prosperous, and democratic Afghanistan.”

In response to McCaul’s stand, the resistance front led by Ahmad Massoud applauded the move, echoing his call to halt any endeavors towards normalizing the Taliban within the international community.

The movement cited a report released Monday, revealing the Taliban’s exploitation of UN humanitarian aid meant to alleviate the suffering of impoverished communities in Afghanistan.