We do not recognise the Taliban, says US Ambassador to the UN

The US Representative to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, has said that the US continues to pressure the Taliban and that it does not recognise the group.

When asked in a press conference what action could she take against the Taliban’s ban on girls’ and women’s education during her presidency role at the UN Security Council, Thomas-Greenfield said.

“On Afghanistan, our position has been very clear on that. We believe Afghan girls should be allowed to return to school and Afghan women back to work. And we have continued to put pressure on the Taliban. We do not recognize the Taliban.”

Thomas-Greenfield added that the US has not provided support to the Taliban as a result of their ban forbidding girls’ education.

“We have not given any support to the Taliban as a result of their decision not to allow girls to return to school. As we address these human rights issues in the Council during our presidency, certainly Afghanistan will be at the top of that list.”

Thomas-Greenfield was also asked to comment if there has been any progress on America’s direct engagement with the Taliban in the recent meeting in Doha, Qatar. She said:

“Progress clearly is yet to be seen in Afghanistan, but that’s why we have engaged with the Taliban so that we can push the Taliban on these issues related to human rights. They have cracked down on the press. They have restricted girls from school, restricted women from working. All of these issues were raised with the Taliban.”

The US State Department said that in the Doha meeting, the US delegation, headed by its Special Representative for Afghanistan, Thomas West, discussed “critical interests” and “confidence building in support of the Afghan people”.

The Taliban delegation, headed by the group’s Foreign Minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, called for “practical steps” on “removing blacklists and lifting sanctions”.