“This meeting is a continuation of the pragmatic engagements with the Taliban on issues of US vital national interest,” the official told CNN.
In the Doha meeting, the US will also 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.
Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Tom West will be the senior State Department representative in the US delegation, said the State Department official, who noted the group will include 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.
CNN’s Alex Marquardt contributed to this report.