State Department spokesperson Ned Price on Monday said “there has not been a formal transfer of power” from the Afghan government to the Taliban following the capitulation of former President Ashraf Ghani, and said the US was working with the international community as to who the US recognizes as the leader of Afghanistan.
Price did not rule out US recognition of a Taliban government, saying that it would be dependent upon their actions.
“Ultimately when it comes to our posture towards any future government in Afghanistan, it will depend upon the actions of that government, it will depend upon the actions of the Taliban. We are watching closely,” he said at a department briefing.
“The fact is that a future Afghan government that upholds the basic rights of its people, that doesn’t harbor terrorists and that protects the basic rights of its people, including the basic fundamental rights of half of its population, its women and girls, that is a government that we would be able to work with,” he said.
“The converse is also true. We’re not going to support a government that does not do that, a government that disregards, the guarantees enshrined in basic documents like the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, that is not a government that the United States would be able to work with. That itself is important,” Price said, also noting a UN Security Council statement calling for “the establishment, through inclusive negotiations, of a new government that is united, inclusive and representative – including with the full, equal and meaningful participation of women.”
Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen claimed in a CNN interview Monday that the Taliban would allow the education of women and girls, but the militant group has a history of sharp repression of the rights of women and minorities.
State Department officials had previously said the US would not recognize a government that came to power by force.