On their first visit to Europe since returning to power, the Taliban held landmark talks with Western diplomats in Oslo on Monday over the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, a meeting the Islamist regime’s delegation called an “achievement in itself”.
The international community has however insisted the Taliban must respect human rights before aid can be resumed to Afghanistan, where hunger threatens more than half population.
Having accepted a controversial invitation from Norway, the Taliban were holding talks on Monday with representatives of the U.S., France, Britain, Germany, Italy, the European Union and Norway.
The closed-door discussions were taking place at the Soria Moria Hotel, on a snowy hilltop outside Oslo, with the Taliban delegation led by Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, who hailed the fact that the meeting took place as a success in its own right.
“Norway providing us this opportunity is an achievement in itself because we shared the stage with the world,” Mr. Muttaqi told reporters on Monday.
“From these meetings we are sure of getting support for Afghanistan’s humanitarian, health and education sectors,” he added.