Fifth, we’ll keep centered on counterterrorism. The Taliban has made a dedication to forestall terrorist teams from utilizing Afghanistan as a base for exterior operations that would threaten the US or our allies, together with Al Qaeda and the Taliban’s sworn enemy, ISIS-Ok. Right here, too, we’ll maintain them accountable to that dedication. However whereas we have now expectations of the Taliban, that doesn’t imply we’ll depend on the Taliban. We’ll stay vigilant in monitoring threats ourselves and can preserve sturdy counterterrorism capabilities within the area to neutralize these threats if crucial, as we demonstrated previously few days by placing ISIS facilitators and imminent threats in Afghanistan — and as we do in locations all over the world the place we do not need army forces on the bottom.
Let me communicate on to our engagement with the Taliban throughout these and different points. We engaged with the Taliban throughout the previous few weeks to allow our evacuation operations. Going ahead, any engagement with a Taliban-led authorities in Kabul can be pushed by one factor solely: our very important nationwide pursuits. If we will work with the brand new Afghan authorities in a method that helps safe these pursuits, together with the protected return of Mark Frerichs, a U.S. citizen who has been held hostage within the area since early final yr, and in a method that brings higher stability to the nation and area and protects the good points of the previous 20 years, we’ll do it.
However we won’t do it on the idea of belief or religion. Each step we take can be primarily based not on what the Taliban-led authorities says however what it does to reside as much as its commitments. The Taliban seeks worldwide legitimacy and assist. Our message is any legitimacy and any assist should be earned. The Taliban can do this by assembly commitments and obligations on freedom of journey, respecting the fundamental rights of the Afghan individuals, together with ladies and minorities, upholding its commitments on counterterrorism, not finishing up reprisal violence towards those that select to remain in Afghanistan, and forming an inclusive authorities that may meet the wants and mirror the aspirations of the Afghan individuals.
Sixth, we’ll proceed our humanitarian help to the individuals of Afghanistan. The battle has taken a horrible toll on the Afghan individuals. Thousands and thousands are internally displaced. Thousands and thousands are dealing with starvation, even hunger. The Covid-19 pandemic has additionally hit Afghanistan laborious. The USA will proceed to assist humanitarian help to the Afghan individuals. In keeping with our sanctions on the Taliban, the help won’t move by way of the federal government however somewhat by way of unbiased organizations similar to U.N. companies and N.G.O.s. And we anticipate that these efforts won’t be impeded by the Taliban or anybody else.
And seventh, we’ll proceed our broad worldwide diplomacy throughout all these points and plenty of others. We consider we will accomplish way more and exert far higher leverage once we work in coordination with our allies and companions. Over the past two weeks, we’ve had a collection of intensive diplomatic engagements with allies and companions to plan and coordinate the way in which forward in Afghanistan. I met with the overseas ministers of NATO and the G7. I’ve spoken one-on-one with dozens of my counterparts.
Final week, president Biden met with the leaders of the G7 nations, and Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman has been convening a bunch of 28 allies and companions from all areas of the world each different day. Going ahead, we’ll coordinate carefully with nations within the area and all over the world in addition to with main organizations, N.G.O.s and the non-public sector. Our allies and companions share our goals and are dedicated to working with us. I’ll have extra to say on these issues within the coming days.
The primary level I need to drive residence right here at the moment is that America’s work in Afghanistan continues. We’ve got a plan for what’s subsequent. We’re placing it into motion. This second additionally calls for reflection. The battle in Afghanistan was a 20-year endeavor. We should be taught its classes, and permit these classes to form how we take into consideration basic questions of nationwide safety and overseas coverage. We owe that to future diplomats, policymakers, army leaders, service members. We owe that to the American individuals.