DOHA: File photo shows Head of the Taleban delegation Abdul Salam Hanafi (R), accompanied by Taleban officials (2R to L) Muttaqi, Shahabuddin Delawar and Abdul Latif Mansour, walks down a hotel lobby in Qatar’s capital Doha. The United States will resume talks with the Taleban next week in Qatar. – AFP

KABUL: Next week’s talks between the United States and the Taleban in Doha-the second such meeting since the Islamists seized power-will open a “new chapter” in political ties, the group said yesterday. Washington said Tuesday it would continue to hold talks with the Taleban following a meeting between the two sides in the Qatari capital on October 9-10.

“A new phase of negotiations will begin next week between Afghanistan and America in Qatar,” the Taleban said on their official Arabic Twitter account. “At this stage, talks will address opening a new chapter in political relations between the two countries, resolving economic issues, and the implementation of the terms in the previous Doha agreement.”

The US State Department said the proposed two weeks of negotiations will address several issues such as fighting the threat of the Islamic State and Al-Qaeda groups, as well as humanitarian aid. Talks will also focus on how to offer safe passage out of Afghanistan for US citizens and Afghans who worked for Washington during the 20-year war.

The American delegation will be led by the US special representative for Afghanistan, Thomas West. Last week, West insisted that any financial and diplomatic support from Washington to the Taleban was based on certain conditions.

He said the Taleban have to install an inclusive government, respect the rights of minorities, women and girls, and provide equal access to education and employment. Amir Khan Muttaqi, foreign minister of the Taleban government-which is not recognised by the international community-last week called for the release of Afghan assets frozen by the US in an open letter to the US Congress. – AFP