US State Department has no immediate plans to resume diplomatic activity in Kabul: Spokesperson

Photo: Reuters

The U.S. Department of State deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel during a press briefing on Monday in response to reporters’ question said the department has no immediate plans to resume diplomatic activities in Afghanistan.

Patel reiterated that the United States engages in dialogue with the Taliban government and many Afghans both inside and outside the country.

“We have no near-term plans to return any diplomatic functions to Kabul,” Patel said. “We engage with many Afghans, including the Taliban, both inside and outside the country, but human rights and the return to school for women and girls are at the forefront of our engagement. Working with our allies and partners, including the U.N., we’ll continue to press the Taliban to reverse these discriminatory edicts, particularly those that disproportionately affect women and girls and those that will affect any normalization of relations. It’s contingent on the respect for the rights of all Afghans.”

He emphasized that human rights, and education for women and girls are priorities in the U.S. interaction with Afghanistan. The U.S. will continue to pressure the interim government, in collaboration with partners such as the United Nations, to repeal discriminatory measures against women.

The spokesperson noted that normalizing relations with the Taliban depends on respecting the rights of all Afghan citizens. This statement follows a recent report from the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), which mentioned the U.S. Department of State’s new strategy towards Afghanistan. The report acknowledges the need for “constructive engagement” with the Taliban to achieve U.S. objectives.

SIGAR also reported that the U.S. Department of State is considering planning, resource allocation, and identifying facilities for potentially resuming consular services in Kabul.

Previously, a U.S. State Department spokesperson denied reports about plans to return diplomatic activities to Kabul in a conversation with Amu.