US warns Taliban that legitimacy must be earned as it completes Afghanistan evacuation

US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, said America will not work with the Taliban unless it is in their “national interest”.

Speaking at a press conference in Washington, Mr Blinken told viewers: “Every step we take will be based not on what a Taliban-led Government says but what it does to live up to its commitments.”

He added: “The Taliban seeks international legitimacy and support.

“Our message is that any legitimacy and any support will have to be earned.”

Mr Blinken delivered his address hours after American troops left Afghanistan.

The Secretary of State confirmed less than 200 US nationals now remain in the Middle Eastern nation.

The 59-year-old went on to claim the US “can exert far greater leverage” when they work alongside allies and partners.

Blinken confirmed he and President Joe Biden have met with their counterparts in the G7 and NATO.

“Going forward we will coordinate closely with countries in the region and around the world, as well as with leading international organisations, NGO’s and the private sector,” Blinken said.

“Our allies and partners share our objectives and are committed to working with us.”

But the diplomat also used his press conference to highlight how America will continue to offer financial support to Afghans.

He said: “Millions are internally displaced, millions are facing hunger – even starvation, the COVID-19 pandemic has also hit Afghanistan hard.

“The United States will continue to support humanitarian aid to the Afghan people.

“Consistent with our sanctions on the Taliban, the aid will not flow through the Government but rather through independent organisations.”

Mr Blinken delivered his address hours after American troops left Afghanistan.

The Secretary of State confirmed less than 200 US nationals now remain in the Middle Eastern nation.

He added: “Of those who self-identify as Americans in Afghanistan who are considering leaving the country, we have thus far received confirmation that about 6,000 have been evacuated or otherwise departed.”

After his 10-minute press conference, the Cabinet Minister did not answer any questions from journalists.