US Envoy For Afghanistan Arrives In Norway For Taliban Humanitarian Talks

US Envoy For Afghanistan Arrives in Norway for Taliban Humanitarian Talks

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 24th January, 2022) United States Special Representative for Afghanistan Thomas West on Monday arrived in Norway's Oslo to discuss a dire humanitarian situation in Afghanistan with European and US officials alongside Afghan civil society and leadership of the Taliban (under UN sanctions for terrorism).

On Saturday, a delegation headed by the foreign minister of the interim Taliban government, Amir Khan Muttaqi, arrived in Norway on a three-day visit to deliberate on the provision of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan as well as "political, educational and economic issues."

"Pleased to be in Oslo with Norwegian hosts and U.S.-Europe Group envoys... As we seek to address humanitarian crisis together with allies, partners, and relief orgs, we will continue clear-eyed diplomacy with the Taliban regarding our concerns and our abiding interest in a stable, rights-respecting, and inclusive Afghanistan," West said on Twitter.

According to West, representatives from the US Treasury Department, US Agency for International Development, and US Special Envoy for Afghan Women, Girls, and Human Rights, Rina Amiri, have also arrived in Oslo for talks on Afghanistan.

West also welcomed Oslo's initiative in facilitating dialogue between the Afghan civil society and Taliban, noting that "civil society leaders are the backbone of healthy and prosperous economies and societies."

Earlier on Sunday, the Taliban announced that the delegation met with Afghan immigrants, where the sides "exchanged views on the current situation in the country" and confirmed that "Afghanistan is the shared home of all Afghans."

The Taliban's swift ascension to power in Afghanistan occurred in mid-August, triggering an economic disarray and food shortages that push the country to the brink of a humanitarian crisis. Thousands of Afghans fled the country fearful of the Taliban, widespread violation of human rights, and the deprivation of women and girls of their freedoms.

According to the UN estimates, around half of the country's population needs humanitarian assistance, twice as many as in 2020, with about 22 million people facing acute food insecurity. The UN foresees that by the middle of this year, 97% of Afghans may slide below the poverty line.