Sep 8, 2021 - World

U.S. expresses concern about Taliban's new government

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid speaks during a press conference in Kabul on September 7

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid during a press conference in Kabul, Afghanistan, onTuesday. Photo: Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images

The State Department expressed concern late Tuesday about the Taliban's new all-male interim Cabinet in Afghanistan, which includes a minister who's on a U.S. terrorism list.

What they're saying: "We note the announced list of names consists exclusively of individuals who are members of the Taliban or their close associates and no women," the State Department said in an emailed statement.

  • "We also are concerned by the affiliations and track records of some of the individuals," added the statement, which said it would "judge the Taliban by its actions, not words."

Driving the news: Muhammad Hassan Akhund, the acting prime minister, is a UN-designated terrorist.

  • Acting interior minister Sirajuddin Haqqani, who is wanted by the FBI for terrorism offenses, is the leader of the Haqqani network — designated a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S.

Meanwhile, medical workers reported that Taliban forces fired shot dead three people who were protesting the group in the western city of Herat, the BBC notes.

Of note: The State Department said it would "continue to hold the Taliban to their commitments to allow safe passage for foreign nationals and Afghans with travel documents, including permitting flights currently ready to fly out of Afghanistan to agreed-upon onward destinations.

  • "We also reiterate our clear expectation that the Taliban ensure that Afghan soil is not used to threaten any other countries and allow humanitarian access in support of the Afghan people."

Context: White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said Monday that about 100 Americans were still in Afghanistan and officials were working to evacuate those who want to leave, as well as Afghan allies following reports that many had been left behind following the full U.S. troop withdrawal from the country.

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