The final chapter of their first official trip to Europe since their return to power in August, the Taliban, in search of international recognition and money, held bilateral meetings behind closed doors with Western diplomats.
The latter seized the opportunity to explain what they expect from the Taliban who have once again become masters of a country where more than half of the population is threatened by hunger this winter.
I also stressed the need for primary and secondary schools to be open to boys and girls across the country when the school year begins in March.tweeted the special envoy of the European Union (EU) in Afghanistan.
Tomas Niklasson was responding to another tweet from the spokesperson for the Afghan Foreign Ministry, which welcomed an EU commitment to
continue its humanitarian aid to Afghanistan.
Led by their Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amir Khan Muttaqi, the Islamist delegation also had bilateral meetings with a senior French official, the British and German special envoys, and members of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
A similar meeting with US officials has not been confirmed.
The Taliban left Norway at the end of the evening, without making any declarations.
In their eyes, this type of meeting constitutes a step towards international recognition.
The fact of having come to Norway […] is a success in itself, because we shared the international stagewelcomed Mr. Muttaqi on Monday.
From these meetings, we are sure to draw support in the humanitarian, health and educational sectors in Afghanistan..
Inviting Power, Norway has affirmed that these discussions were neither
legitimization or recognition of the Taliban government.
But her decision to welcome this delegation, transported in a private jet which she chartered at great expense, was strongly criticized by many experts, members of the diaspora and Afghan activists.
Also in their crosshairs: the presence among the 15 members of the delegation – exclusively male – of Anas Haqqani, one of the leaders of the Haqqani network, responsible for deadly attacks in Afghanistan and considered by the United States as a group
is the first step to start dealing with those who hold de facto power in Afghanistan explained Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.
” If we don’t start with this first step, I’m afraid we’ll be exposed to something quite terrible in terms of humanitarian catastrophe. »
No state has yet recognized the Taliban regime and the international community is waiting to see how the Islamists govern the country before any aid is released.
Norway says it has emphasized human rights, particularly those of women, such as access to education and work, and those of minorities, including religious ones.
Under Taliban rule, women are largely excluded from government jobs and secondary schools for girls mostly remain closed.
The fate of two feminists who disappeared last week in Kabul after taking part in a demonstration was also raised. The Taliban deny any involvement.
We cannot save lives without the sanctions being lifted Jan Egeland, head of the Norwegian Refugee Council, told AFP on Tuesday, before a meeting between NGOs like his and the Taliban.
Gradual changes on both sides
penalizes the same civilians on whose defense NATO countries have spent hundreds of billions until Augusthe argued.
As a result of the suspension of aid, but also of several droughts, 55% of the Afghan population is threatened by hunger, according to the UN.
In Oslo, a Western observer says he noted
some gradual changes on both sides .
But I think we will need more of these meetings before the Taliban and the West can deal with each other.he told AFP.