“This meeting is a continuation of the pragmatic engagements with the Taliban on issues of US vital national interest,” the official told CNN.
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid told reporters on Saturday, “We had a detailed discussion with the American delegation in Doha, and this discussion with continue all day today and into tomorrow as well.”
“During this meeting, discussions were made about the humanitarian assistance as well and this discussion will continue,” Mujahid said.
In the Doha meeting, the US would prioritize “holding the Taliban to its commitment not to allow terrorists to use Afghan soil to threaten the security of the United States or its allies,” the official said earlier this week.
Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Tom West is the senior State Department representative in the US delegation, said the State Department official, who noted the group includes representatives from the US Agency for International Development and others. The source familiar said USAID’s top humanitarian official, Sarah Charles, was expected to be among the delegation.
“As Afghanistan faces the prospect of a severe economic contraction and possible humanitarian crisis, we will also press the Taliban to allow humanitarian agencies free access to areas of need,” the official said.
The official told CNN that the meeting with the Taliban representatives “is not about granting recognition or conferring legitimacy.”
“We remain clear that any legitimacy must be earned through the Taliban’s own actions,” they said.
Mujahid added Saturday: “Our aim is to have further meetings with the Americans and also with European delegates in the days to come, so that we can discuss and have their views and suggestions about the current situation in Afghanistan.”
“We have told them time and again that a weak and an instable government in Afghanistan is not in the interest of no one,” he said.
This story has been updated with additional information on Saturday.
CNN’s Alex Marquardt contributed to this report.
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politics,Afghanistan: US delegation meets with Taliban representatives in Doha – CNNPolitics