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A delegation of US diplomats led by Zalmay Khalilzad, Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation at the State Department, continues contacts in Doha with representatives of the Taliban.

“Well, let me take the opportunity to offer a bit of context on our diplomatic efforts over the past 72 or so hours. Ambassador Khalilzad and his team remained in Doha. They still remain in Doha following consultations that we talked about last week with a number of countries from the region – the UN and countries much farther afield. They continued and they still continue to engage with the Taliban. They continue to engage with the Islamic Republic, that is to say, the Government of Afghanistan representatives.

When it became clear that the Government of Afghanistan was on the verge of collapse, that President Ghani had fled, and that the Taliban were encroaching on Kabul, the focus, of course, changed. It shifted from supporting peace negotiations along with the international community to working assiduously and urgently to do all we can with the international community on an urgent basis to avert violence, to attempt to maintain order in Kabul, and very, very importantly, to guarantee that the Taliban would not seek to threaten our people or our operations,” Ned Price, the spokesperson for the US Department of State, noted this at Monday’s press briefing

“When it comes to the Taliban, we are going to look for their actions rather than listen to their words,” he stressed when asked whether they have reached an agreement with the Taliban on the management of Afghanistan's airspace. 

“Any effort, any attempt to target, to threaten, to intimidate our personnel or our operations would be met with a swift and decisive response,” US State Department spokesperson warned.

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