US emphasizes inclusive Afghan future beyond Taliban control

WASHINGTON — Responding to a question about the Taliban’s refusal to attend the UN-organized meeting in Doha, US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller stressed that the Taliban are not the sole stakeholders in Afghanistan’s future, underscoring the US commitment to an inclusive Afghan voice in shaping their country’s path.

“I can’t say I’m incredibly surprised that the Taliban declined the invitation to participate in a meeting with broad international representation,” Miller said. “However, as we’ve stated before, the Taliban are not the only Afghans who have a stake in Afghanistan’s future. We will continue to support all Afghans, including women and girls, in having a voice in shaping their future.”

Miller refrained from commenting on the actions of specific countries but emphasized the value of engaging with civil society. “We find engagement with civil society productive and encourage every country to empower civil society through their diplomacy,” he said, in reference to China and Russia’s decision not to attend meetings with Afghan civil society representatives.