US is watching, not in a rush to recognise Taliban government: White House

New Delhi: After ending the 20-year war in Afghanistan, the US is not in a hurry to recognise the new Taliban-led interim government, PTI cited a top White House official as saying.

Addressing reporters on Wednesday (September 8), White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said, “No one in this administration, not the President nor anyone on the national security team, would suggest that the Taliban are respected and valued members of the global community. 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.”

Psaki said that currently the US is engaging with the Taliban who are overseeing and controlling Afghanistan to get the American citizens out of the war-torn nation. “We have not conveyed we’re going to recognise it and nor are we rushing to recognition. There’s a lot they have to do before that. 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, Special Immigration Visa (SPV) applicants out of Afghanistan,” the news agency quoted White House Press Secretary as saying.

Psaki asserted that the United States is “watching” the ongoing developments in Afghanistan. “It’s whether they let people depart the country who want to depart, whether they treat women across the country as they have committed to treat them and how they behave and operate. And, therefore, we’re not moving toward recognition,” she added.

The US ended its longest war after it withdrew its last troops from Afghanistan on August 30. This 20-year war has reportedly taken the lives of nearly 2,500 US troops and around 2,40,000 Afghans, and cost America some $2 trillion.

The Taliban announced an interim government on Tuesday and said Mullah Mohammed Hasan Akhund – an associate of the group’s late founder, Mullah Omar – will be the acting prime minister, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar will be the deputy PM and Mullah Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is on a U.S. terrorism wanted list, will be the interior minister. No women or outsiders have been allotted any post in the government so far, Reuters reported. The Taliban had captured Kabul on August 15 leading to a total collapse of the Ashraf Ghani-led government.