US, Taliban discuss security, aid for Afghanistan

Senior representatives of the United States and the Taliban discussed security, humanitarian assistance and other Afghanistan-related concerns in a two-day meeting in Doha, Qatar.

The US State Department says the representatives held "candid and professional" talks on Saturday and Sunday.

The meeting reportedly brought together senior US State Department officials and Taliban representatives, including acting foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi.

A Taliban official said it was the first full-fledged meeting between the two sides since the US completed its troop withdrawal from Afghanistan on August 30.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement that the delegates discussed security and terrorism concerns in Afghanistan.

He said the focus was also on safe passage for "US citizens, other foreign nationals and our Afghan partners" wishing to leave the country, as well as human rights issues and direct humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people.

The Associated Press quoted the Taliban as saying that the US has agreed to provide humanitarian aid to a desperately poor Afghanistan, while refusing to grant political recognition to the country's new Taliban rulers.

Price indicated that whether the Taliban will get such recognition from international society depends on how the Islamist group acts from now. He said the US delegation reiterated that "the Taliban will be judged on its actions, not only its words."