|History and Biodata
The Norwegian Foreign Ministry said Friday Jan 21, 2022 that it has invited representatives of the Taliban to Oslo from Jan. 23 to Jan. 25. Norwegian newspaper VG said that special representatives from the United States, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and the European Union would take part. It would be the first time since the Taliban took over the country last August 2021, that they have met in Europe. Earlier they traveled to Russia, Iran, Qatar and Pakistan. It was not immediately clear who will lead the Taliban delegation to the Norwegian capital.
Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi will lead the 15 member Taliban team at the dialogue starting Sunday, his office in Kabul said.(20220121)
The closed-door discussions are being held at the Soria Moria Hotel, on a snowy hilltop outside Oslo, with the Taliban delegation led by Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi.
The closed-door meeting was attended by six women’s rights defenders, seven politicians and a journalist as well as the 15-member delegation of Taliban.
The women representatives who attended the summit included Mahbooba Saraj, Huda Khamosh, Gul Ghotai Jasor, Masouda Karokhel, Shah Gul Rezai and Jamila Afghan. (20220121)
Among them was Anas Haqqani, a leader of the most feared and violent faction of the Taliban movement -- the Haqqani network, responsible for some of the most devastating attacks in Afghanistan.(20220123)
Monday January 24, 2022 is said to be the most significant day of the talks since the Taliban members will be meeting with representatives of the United States, France, Britain, Germany, Italy and the European Union, while Tuesday will be dedicated to bilateral talks with Norwegian officials. It is being expected that during the talks the Taliban will stress on unfreezing their assets because of the unfolding humanitarian situation. Afghanistan has seen unemployment and food prices soar, whilst the value of its currency is plummeting and banks have set limits on cash withdrawals. The closed-door talks were held in the Soria Moria Hotel outside of Oslo, Norway’s capital city.
It is being reported that the US delegation plans to discuss the formation of a representative political system; responses to the urgent humanitarian and economic crises; security and counterterrorism concerns; and human rights, especially education for girls and women. It remains to be seen how the Taliban responds to what it may perceive as interference in internal affairs. However, the Taliban will have to provide assurances and plans to uphold human rights and ensure women’s access to education across the country. Otherwise, recognition will be hard to achieve and the international community will remain apprehensive about engaging with the new Afghan government.