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25.11.2021 US Envoy on Afghanistan to Return to Doha to Meet Taliban

The US Special Representative for Afghanistan will visit Doha next week for two days of meetings with leaders of the Taliban, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said on Tuesday. "Theyll discuss ... our vital national interests when it comes to Afghanistan," said Price. "That includes counterterrorism, that includes safe passage for US citizens and for Afghans to whom we have a special commitment and that includes humanitarian assistance and the economic situation of the country. The US envoy, Tom West, earlier this month attended a meeting of the extended Troika, comprising Pakistan, China, Russia and the United States to discuss Afghanistan. The group had also met with senior Taliban representatives. West was also part of the U.S. delegation in meetings with Taliban officials in Doha in October, the first such talks between Washington and the Taliban after United States' chaotic end to its two decade-long war in Afghanistan on Aug. 31. On November 8, West started his first trip in this role to Europe and Asia as the US special envoy for Afghanistan. He visited Brussels and consulted with EU and US allies on Afghanistan. On November 12, West went to Islamabad and joined the Troika Plus meeting on Afghanistan. Before visiting India, West went to Russia and met with Russian officials on Afghanistan. Meanwhile, an Islamic Emirate delegation led by acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi will hold talks with the US and EU delegations in Doha from November 27 to 29 on the release of bank assets, humanitarian aid, education, public health and the reopening and security of embassies in Kabul, said Foreign Ministry. Officials from the education, health and finance ministries, as well as from security departments and Afghanistans central bank will be included in the delegation, the Foreign Ministry said.

25.11.2021 Status of Economic Situation Under the Islamic Emirate

Afghanistan faced a severe economic crisis following the collapse of the former government when the international aid to Afghanistan ceased and the banking system was disrupted. After the Islamic Emirate rapidly took control of Afghanistan in mid-August, the United States administration blocked over $9 billion of Afghanistans central bank assets. The collapse caused Afghanistans banks to face a shortage of cash, with thousands of costumers queuing at banks to take out their money. At the time, a spokesman of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said the organization had suspended Afghanistans access to fund resources. A Spokesman of IMF further said IMF took the decision due to a lack of clarity over the country's government after the Taliban seized control of Kabul. The IMF also suspended a $370 million fund which was intended to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak in Afghanistan. Although funding directly to the Islamic Emirate government has been stopped, early on after the fall of Kabul the United Nations held a meeting in which donors pledged more than $1 billion to assist Afghanistan, indicating the level of concern for the Afghan situation. After the meeting the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said: Today, we have already heard clearly more than $1 billion in pledgesIt represents a quantum leap in relation to the financial commitment of the international community towards the Afghan people. In addition, the World Bank halted funding for all development projects in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover. Meanwhile, the World Food Program (WFP) announced that more than 22.8 million of Afghanistans population will face acute hunger from November 2021. During these 100 days, Afghan currency significantly lost value against the US dollar in Afghanistans markets, and the price of food and basic goods has spiked.

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