The US held its first talks with the Taliban since the end of the Afghan War, meeting in Doha to discuss several matters, including recognition of the de facto government.
The US is refusing recognition, at least for now, and the talks are said to have ended positively. The Taliban also held talks with the British in recent days, so even without recognition they are being treated like a functioning state.
The US is agreeing to provide new food aid to Afghanistan through the Taliban. The US didn’t want the aid and recognition to appear linked.
The Afghan economy, not great in the best of times, has been suffering with the regime change and war, which led the banks to close and put many in dire circumstances.
The hope is the aid will tide people over, pending a return to stability. In ducking the recognition issue, the US avoids the inevitable acceptance of the military defeat in the 20-year Afghan War.