Taliban Hold First Talks In Europe Since Afghan Takeover

Since taking control of Afghanistan in August, the western officials and the Taliban have begun their initial official discussions in Europe.

The sessions were held behind closed doors at a hotel in the Norwegian capital's snow-capped highlands. As Afghanistan confronts a dire humanitarian scenario, Taliban leaders would undoubtedly urge their demand for the return of roughly 10 billion dollars held by the United States and various Western nations.

On Sunday night, Taliban representative Shafiullah Azam stated that they are urging that Afghanistan property be unfrozen and that regular Afghans not be punished as a result of the political debate. Because of the famine and the harsh winter, he believes it is time for the international world to help Afghans rather than condemn them for their political differences.

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Earlier in the meetings, western officials sat with human rights defenders and Afghanistan women's rights groups to hear about their requests and assessments of the present reality on the field from the Afghanistan diaspora and the civil society in Afghanistan. Members from the EU, the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, and the event's hosts Norway gathered.

Heda Khamoush, who is a women's rights activist, who resides in Kabul, stood motionless as guests gathered, holding up images of Parwana Ibrahimkhel and Tamana Zaryabi Paryani, two women imprisoned by the Taliban last week during an anti-Taliban rally against the required Islamic headgear, or hijab, for women.

Azam denied that the Taliban had kidnapped them, saying he was unaware of it and that activists might be using the incident to seek refuge.

Mahbouba Seraj, who is the women's rights campaigner, speaking after the meeting, scoffed at this and cautioned that if they continue to tell people one thing and then do another, the trust will be entirely broken.

The three-day discussions began on Sunday with direct sessions between representatives from civic society and the Taliban.

Attendees of the meeting recognised that acceptance and collaboration are the only remedies to each of Afghanistan's troubles, according to a joint declaration tweeted up overnight by, the Afghan deputy information and culture minister, Zabihullah Mujahid. The declaration also emphasised that all Afghans must work together for improved economic, political, and security outcomes in the nation.

The negotiations take place at a critical time for Afghanistan, as frigid conditions add to the agony brought on by the fall of the United States backed administration and the Taliban's control.

According to aid organisations and international agencies, approximately 23 million inhabitants, or more than 50% of the nation's population, are suffering from acute famine, and about 9 million are on the verge of famine. People have sold their belongings to buy food, burned furniture for comfort, and even sold their children. The United Nations has been able to offer some liquidity to the Taliban government, allowing them to pay for imports such as electricity.

When confronted with the Taliban's appeal for funding, Western powers are expected to prioritise the concerns of Afghan girls and women, as well as the West's ongoing insistence that the Taliban government share authority with Afghanistan's minority ethnicities and religions.