The White House said recognition of any future Taliban regime would be contingent on it not allowing Afghan territory to be used as a base for terrorism and respect for human rights, particularly those of women.

US service members assist with security at an Evacuation Control Check Point (ECC) during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 26, 2021.
US service members assist with security at an Evacuation Control Check Point (ECC) during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport, Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 26, 2021. (Reuters)

The United States has dismissed any chance of rapid recognition for a Taliban government and said it has not decided whether it will maintain a diplomatic presence in Afghanistan after next week's troop withdrawal.

"I want to be really clear: there's no rush to recognition of any sort by the United States or any international partners we have talked to," White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.

The United States has said recognition of any future Taliban regime would be contingent on it not allowing Afghan territory to be used as a base for terrorism and respect for human rights, particularly those of women.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said the Taliban have asked that the United States keep a diplomatic presence in the country after the remaining US troops are pulled out on Tuesday.

"They have made very clear to us in our communication they would like to see an American diplomatic presence remain," Price said. "Ultimately, of course, it's not up to the Taliban.

"It's a determination that we will need to make consistent with the overriding prerogative and that is the safety and security of American officials," he said.

He said the Taliban have pledged to provide "safety and protection" but those are just "words" and Washington will need further assurances before making any decision.

After the Taliban takeover of Kabul on August 15, the remaining diplomats from the US embassy fled to the US-secured airport in the capital.

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Non of Kabul airport operations under Taliban

The Pentagon says the Taliban has not taken control of any operations at Kabul airport after reports the movement now running Afghanistan had entered the US military-controlled facility. 

"They are not in charge of any of the gates, are not in charge of any of the airport operations. That is still under US military control," said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby on Friday. 

Kirby's statement came right after the Taliban declared control in some parts of the Kabul airport. 

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Taliban declares control 'in some parts'

A spokesman for the Taliban said the group took control of parts of Kabul airport on Friday, as an August 31 deadline for the United States and its allies to complete evacuations looms.

"Today, three important locations in the military part of Kabul airport were evacuated by the Americans and are under the control of the Islamic Emirate," spokesman Bilal Karimi said on Twitter.

"Now, a very small part remains with the Americans."

Fears of more attacks

The United States pressed on into the final days of the chaotic airlift from Afghanistan on Friday amid tighter security measures and fears of more bloodshed, a day after the suicide attack at the Kabul airport that killed well over 100 Afghans and 13 US service members. 

The US warned that more attacks could come ahead of President Joe Biden's fast-approaching deadline to withdraw American forces from Afghanistan by Tuesday.

Two officials said the Afghan death toll in Thursday's bombing rose to 169, while the US said it was the deadliest day for American forces in Afghanistan since August 2011.

Biden blamed the attack on Afghanistan's offshoot of Daesh, which is a lethal enemy of both the Taliban and the West.

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'One bomber, not two'

The Pentagon also said that there was just one suicide bomber at the airport gate, not two, as US officials initially said.

The attack marked the first US military casualties in Afghanistan since February 2020 and represented the deadliest incident for American troops there in a decade.

US General Frank McKenzie, the head of US Central Command, had said on Thursday that initial information was that two suicide bombers had attacked the airport gate and the nearby Baron hotel.

"I can confirm for you that we do not believe that there was a second explosion at or near the Baron Hotel, that it was one suicide bomber," Army Major General William Taylor told reporters on Friday. He said US troops wounded in the attack were now being treated in Germany.

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies