The United States on Wednesday said the Taliban's "despicable" public execution in Afghanistan showed a return to the Islamist group's dark past as it pressed on rights during a fresh meeting.

"We've seen despicable videos that have circulated online in recent days," State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.

"This indicates to us that the Taliban seek a return to their regressive and abusive practices of the 1990s," Price said.

"It would be an affront to the dignity and the human rights of all Afghans," Price said, calling it a "clear failure by the Taliban to uphold their promises."

The execution was announced just as the US pointman on Afghanistan, Thomas West, met in Abu Dhabi with a Taliban delegation led by their defense minister Mohammad Yaqoob, the son of the group's founder Mullah Omar.

West said he raised the "deteriorating human rights situation" including treatment of women and girls, who have been deprived education since the Taliban swept back into power.

"The country's economic and social stability and the Taliban's domestic and international legitimacy depend enormously on their treatment of Afghanistan's mothers and daughters," West wrote on Twitter.

The Taliban have said they plan to fully enforce aspects of Islamic law including stonings, floggings and the amputation of limbs from thieves.

The United States starting under former president Donald Trump's administration negotiated with the Taliban to seek security guarantees for the withdrawal of US troops, who left in 2021 after two decades on orders of President Joe Biden.

US mediators had initially sought assurances on rights from the Taliban but a tentative dialogue with a range of Afghans and the Western-backed government collapsed as the insurgents swiftly captured the country.