Taliban talks in Oslo a 'positive icebreaking meeting'

Published: 11:38 PM, 23 Jan, 2022
Taliban talks in Oslo a 'positive icebreaking meeting'
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A meeting between the Taliban and Afghan civil society members served as an ‘icebreaker’ Sunday in Oslo, on the eve of talks between the Islamist fundamentalists and Western diplomats, an Afghan participant said.

"It was a positive ice-breaking meeting," feminist activist Jamila Afghani told AFP, adding: the "Taliban displayed goodwill. They listened patiently and responded to most of our concerns. Let's see what their actions will be, based on their words".

the group's top spokesman told AFP Saturday that the Taliban's first official talks with the West on European soil since seizing power in Afghanistan would help transform the atmosphere of war after a two-decade.

The hardline Islamists stormed back to power in August as the US and foreign troops began their final withdrawal from the country following a stalemate on the battlefield.

No country has yet recognized the Taliban's government -- notorious for human rights abuses during a first stint in power between 1996 and 2001 when they were ousted by a US-led invasion.

"The Islamic Emirate has taken steps for meeting the demands of the Western world and we hope to strengthen our relations through diplomacy with all the countries, including European countries and the West in general," Zabihullah Mujahid told AFP on Saturday. The Taliban want to "transform the atmosphere of war... into a peaceful situation."

Hunger now threatens 23 million Afghans, or 55 percent of the population, according to the United Nations, which says it needs $5 billion from donor countries this year to address the humanitarian crisis in the country.


Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.