Taliban, US, and EU representatives meet in Doha today through November 29 to discuss humanitarian assistance and counterterrorism amidst a severe human security crisis in Afghanistan.
Today’s meeting comes a week after the Taliban called for the US to unfreeze $9.5 billion of Afghan assets in US and European financial institutions. This comes on top of Washington and Brussel’s suspension of development funding and government assistance after the Taliban conquest in August. The US has provided $474 million in humanitarian aid this year, while the EU announced a $1.15 billion package last month. The Taliban could get nonhumanitarian aid for basic services and access to the $9.5 billion on the US’ condition that they address several issues, notably defeating the Islamic State affiliate ISIS-K.\
Following today’s meeting, the likelihood of the Taliban unlocking the $9.5 billion in frozen assets will remain low for the medium term as the threat of insurgent violence worsens. ISIS-K recruitment efforts remain strong, and the group has received $100 million in support from the ISIS core group while working with other insurgent groups. In the long term, since the EU and US significantly lack hard power in Afghanistan, both countries will cooperate more in humanitarian operations and continue to avoid direct support of the Taliban.
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Alan is an analyst with the Current Developments team, focusing on security and politics, particularly within the former Soviet Union, the Middle East and Africa. He contributes regularly to the Daily Brief.