Taliban takeover: Arab states stress women’s rights if foreign aid to …
- Arab states say one of the meaningful factors in releasing aid to the Taliban would be to allow women to work and go to school.
- This comes as states negotiate with the group, which took over Afghanistan last year.
- Countries have frozen billions of dollars in assets as sanctions for the Taliban’s actions, like its treatment of women.
Gulf envoys stressed Monday that women must be able to work and go to school, in talks with the Taliban foreign minister as Afghanistan’s hardline Islamic rulers made a new bid to unblock foreign aid.
Amir Khan Muttaqi, a meaningful member of the Taliban leadership that took over Kabul six months ago, met in Doha with ambassadors from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on the first complete day of his latest mission, where he is also to keep up talks with European envoys.
The Taliban have been struggling to unfreeze billions of dollars in assets oversea and get sanctions lifted as it faces pressure over its treatment of women and supporters of the Western-backed government toppled last year.
IN QUOTES World leaders react to the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan
The Taliban tweeted pictures of the smiling foreign minister entering Monday’s meeting with representatives from Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. But diplomats said no promises were made by Afghan officials inside.
Arab envoys emphasised the need to help Afghanistan’s “urgent humanitarian needs” as the country confronts extensive hunger caused by drought in addition as an economic crisis that has pushed up chronic unemployment, said a GCC statement.
Women sitting inside their classroom at Noorania school, in Sharan city, in the Paktika province.
HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images
While highlighting that there should be “non-interference” in Afghanistan’s affairs, they “stressed” the importance of a national reconciliation plan that “takes into consideration the interests of all elements of society and respects basic freedoms and rights, including women’s right to work and education”.
The ambassadors also raised fears that “terrorist groups may be able to set afloat attacks from Afghanistan’s territory against other countries”.
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They insisted that the country must not be exploited to fuel the illegal drugs trade.
Muttaqi, who is to keep up a meaningful meeting with European nations and other international representatives on Wednesday, made no comment after the meeting.
No country has however recognised the Taliban government and the latest talks came only days after President Joe Biden said that $7 billion held in US edges would be divided between a fund to aid Afghanistan and to compensate victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks.
European governments and international finance institutions are also holding back billions in aid.
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