Western diplomats seek urgent aid for Afghanistan, assurances on girls’ education


OSLO (Reuters) – Western diplomats mentioned on Thursday they’d develop their Afghan aid operations whereas persevering with to strain the nation’s Islamist Taliban rulers to respect human rights and permit ladies to go to highschool.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres advised the Security Council on Wednesday that Afghanistan was “hanging by a thread” and referred to as for international locations to authorise all transactions wanted to hold out humanitarian aid.

Some $9.5 billion in Afghan central financial institution reserves stays blocked overseas and worldwide growth assist has dried up because the Taliban seized energy in August.

With tens of millions of Afghans prone to hunger this winter as poverty deepens, Norway hosted conferences from Jan. 23-25 between the Taliban and U.S. and European diplomats in addition to with aid organisations and Afghan civil society teams.

In a 10-point assertion, the diplomats mentioned their governments had been “increasing aid operations, serving to stop the collapse of social companies and supporting the revival of Afghanistan’s economic system”.

The assertion didn’t give any particulars of funding however mentioned obstacles to the supply of aid have to be eliminated.

The diplomats “famous with grave concern the absence from, and limitations on entry to, secondary colleges for ladies in lots of components of the nation and underscored the significance of upper education for girls in addition to job alternatives for girls in all fields.”

They welcomed the Taliban’s public pledges that each one girls and ladies can entry colleges in any respect ranges when colleges throughout the nation reopen in March.

Taliban officers have mentioned they won’t repeat the tough rule of the earlier Taliban authorities toppled by U.S.-led forces in 2001, which banned most ladies’ education and forbade girls from going out in public with out a male guardian.

The diplomats “urged the Taliban to do extra to cease the alarming enhance of human rights violations”, together with arbitrary detentions, pressured disappearances, media crackdowns, extra-judicial killings and torture, amongst different issues.

Norway and its NATO allies don’t formally recognise the Taliban-led administration that seized energy final yr, however see talks as a necessity, given the depth of the disaster.

The Taliban delegation, led by performing overseas minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, was not granted conferences with cabinet-level ministers, however met a junior minister at Norway’s overseas ministry.

(Reporting by Terje Solsvik; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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