The humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan

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Three days of talks between Taliban, Western government officials, and Afghan civil society representatives started in Oslo. Taliban delegation is led by acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi. The main focus of the ongoing talks is the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan. Before the talks, the Taliban’s deputy minister of culture and information tweeted a voice message he said was from Muttaqi, expressing hope for a good trip full of accomplishments and thanking Norway, a country he said he hopes will become a gateway for a positive association with Europe. The trip is the first time since the Taliban took over the country in August last year that their representatives have held official meetings in Europe. Previously, they toured Russia, Iran, Qatar, Pakistan, China, and Turkmenistan. It is expected that during the talks, the Taliban delegation will certainly press the Taliban’s demand that nearly $10 billion frozen by the United States and other Western countries be released as Afghanistan is currently facing a dangerous humanitarian situation. The United Nations has managed to provide for some liquidity and permitted the new administration to pay for imports, including electricity, but cautioned that as many as 1 million Afghan children are at risk of starving, and most of the country’s 38 million people are living below the poverty line. The Norwegian Foreign Ministry said the Taliban delegation would also meet with Afghans in Norway, including women leaders, journalists, and people who work with, among other things, human rights and humanitarian, economic, social, and political issues. He further revealed that Norway continues to involve in dialogue with the Taliban to endorse human rights, women’s participation in society, and to fortify humanitarian and economic efforts in Afghanistan in support of the Afghan people. Prime Minister Imran Khan also urged people to join an international initiative to raise awareness about the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan that has put millions of Afghans at risk of starvation.

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