US calls first talks with Taliban 'candid and professional'

According to a statement from the US State Department, the US delegation focused on issues such as security and the threat of terrorism during the talks, which took place in Doha in Qatar. The need for safe passage for American citizens, other foreigners and Afghans was also discussed. The human rights situation was also an item on the agenda, including the position of women in the country.

The two sides also discussed the provision of US humanitarian aid directly to the Afghan people. Afghan media reported earlier that the Taliban had requested the release of Afghan financial assets. Since the Taliban took power, about $9 billion in bank assets abroad has been frozen.

The US previously said the talks are not about recognizing or legitimizing the Taliban. The last American troops left Afghanistan at the end of August. Their departure marked the end of the international military mission in the country that lasted almost two decades.

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