Taliban Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi greets the UK envoy to Afghanistan Simon Gass in Doha, Qatar, October 4, 2021 (Reuters)

I joined Australia’s Radio National on Monday morning to evaluate the first US talks with the Taliban since the Islamist group took control of Afghanistan in August.

We consider the limited information so far from the two days of discussion in Qatar — notably the Taliban’s claim that the Biden Administration has agreed to provide some humanitarian aid — and assess the political, economic, and social situation.

Listen to Discussion

See also 1st US Talks With Taliban Since Afghanistan Withdrawal

We are getting reports of ongoing Taliban brutality and, of course, no recognition of rights. What does the US do if the Taliban says, “This is our playground. We run it as we wish.”

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And on the dilemma over aid:

If the US and other countries continue to refuse aid, it’s not necessarily the Taliban who are immediately hurts. It’s those 14 million Afghans in food poverty who are dependent on assistance for some type of subsistence.