US in no rush to recognize Taliban government: White House
The United States is not in a rush to recognize the new interim government in Afghanistan, the White House said on Wednesday, asserting that it is in talks with the Taliban to get Americans out of the strife-torn country. "No one in this administration would suggest that the Taliban are respected and valued members of global community," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said.
Caretaker cabinet includes four former imprisoned Taliban fighters: Psaki
"They have not earned that in any way, and we have never assessed that. This is a caretaker cabinet that does include four former imprisoned Taliban fighters," she said. "The administration has not validated that," she said. "We have not conveyed we're going to recognize it and nor are we rushing to recognition. There's a lot they have to do before that," Psaki said.
We are trying to engage with the Taliban: Psaki
"What we are working to do is to engage with them because they oversee and control Afghanistan right now to get American citizens, legal permanent residents, SIV applicants out of Afghanistan," she added. "But to engage with them - their new acting interior minister is a Haqqani network terrorist. He's wanted for a bombing that killed six people, including an American," she said.
Global terrorist Sirajuddin Haqqani is Afghanistan's new acting interior minister
"Their new acting interior minister is believed to have participated in cross-border attacks against US troops. There's a $10mn bounty on his head. Why are we engaging?" she asked. Taliban's hardline interim government includes specially designated global terrorist Sirajuddin Haqqani as the acting interior minister.
The international community is watching, Psaki reiterated
"Should we not talk to people who are overseeing Afghanistan and just leave it and not get the rest of Americans out?" she said. The international community, she reiterated, is watching. "It's whether they let people depart Afghanistan who want to depart, whether they treat women across the country as they have committed to treating them. Therefore, we're not moving toward recognition," she insisted.
Continue US sanctions against Taliban: Republican leader to Treasury Secretary
"At the same time, we're dealing with a reality world here where we have to engage in order to get American citizens and others out of the country," she said. Meanwhile, House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul led committee Republicans in a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to continue US sanctions against the Taliban.