The Taliban praises the Oslo talks as an "achievement in itself"

Representatives of the Taliban described the historic talks they are holding with Western diplomats in Oslo on Monday, which focus on the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, as an "achievement in itself", in the context of the first visit by the movement's figures to Europe since its return to Europe. Authority.

But the international community insists that the Taliban must respect human rights before resuming aid to Afghanistan, where more than half of the population is at risk of starvation.

The Taliban delegation, led by Foreign Minister Amir Khan Mottaki, will hold talks Monday with representatives of the United States, France, Britain, Germany, Italy, the European Union and Norway.

Closed talks, facilitated by Norway, are taking place at the "Surya Moria" hotel, located on a snow-covered hill outside Oslo.

Mottaki considered that just holding the meeting is an achievement. "Norway offering us this opportunity is an achievement in itself," he said in a press statement on Monday.

"We are confident that these meetings will lead to providing support to the humanitarian, health and education sectors in Afghanistan," he added.

The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated significantly since August, when the movement returned to power 20 years after it was ousted.

International aid has stopped, exacerbating the suffering of millions of people who were already starving after successive droughts.

"In parallel with our search with our allies, partners and humanitarian organizations on ways to resolve the humanitarian crisis, we will continue to engage in illusion-based diplomacy with the Taliban regarding our concerns and our interest in a stable Afghanistan that respects the rights of Human and university” for all local parties.

No country has yet recognized the Taliban government, but the movement hopes that these meetings will contribute to legitimizing its government.

Norway's Foreign Minister, Anneken Hoetfeldt, stressed Friday that the talks "will not constitute legitimization or recognition of the Taliban."

"But we have to talk to the authorities who are de facto running the country. We cannot allow the political situation to lead to an even worse humanitarian catastrophe.”

Meanwhile, the Taliban expressed their hope that the talks would "contribute to "transforming the atmosphere of war... to a situation of peace," according to what their government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told AFP on Saturday.

Since August, international aid that financed nearly 80 percent of Afghanistan's budget has been suspended, while the United States has frozen $9.5 billion in assets in the Afghan Central Bank.

Meanwhile, unemployment rates have skyrocketed, and government sector salaries have not been paid for months.

Today, the specter of hunger threatens 23 million Afghans, equivalent to 55 percent of the population, according to United Nations data, which indicates that it needs $4.4 billion from donor countries this year to deal with the humanitarian crisis.

The international community is still waiting to know how the Islamist militants intend to rule Afghanistan, after they ignored the issue of human rights to a large extent during their first term between 1996 and 2001.

The Taliban insist they are becoming more moderate, but women are still largely prevented from working in the public sector and most secondary schools remain closed to girls.

Two activists disappeared this week after they were arrested from their homes in Kabul after participating in a demonstration.

On Sunday, the first day of the three-day visit of the Taliban delegation to Oslo, representatives of the movement met with figures from Afghan civil society, including activists and journalists, to discuss the issue of human rights.

"It was a positive ice-breaking meeting," women's rights activist Jamila Afghani told AFP.

She stressed that Taliban representatives "showed their goodwill (...) We will see if their actions match their words."

Meanwhile, Zabihullah Mujahid stressed in a tweet that "all Afghans must cooperate in order to achieve better political, economic and security results."

He pointed out that "the participants ... realized that there is no solution but mutual understanding and cooperation."

The 15-member delegation arrived on Saturday on a plane chartered by the Norwegian government.

Among them was Anas Haqqani, the leader of the "Haqqani Network", the most violent faction of the Taliban and responsible for some of the worst attacks in Afghanistan.

His participation was widely criticized on social media.

Norwegian media reported that a Norwegian of Afghan origin filed a complaint with the police in Oslo accusing Haqqani of war crimes.


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