Kabul [Afghanistan], January 22 (ANI): A Taliban delegation is set to visit Norway's capital city of Oslo on Saturday to discuss several issues with the country's officials and representatives of the international community.
Norway has invited representatives of the Taliban to Oslo on January 23-25 for meetings with the Norwegian authorities and other Afghan figures from a range of fields within civil society.
"We are extremely concerned about the grave situation in Afghanistan, where millions of people are facing a full-blown humanitarian disaster. In order to be able to help the civilian population in Afghanistan, it is essential that both the international community and Afghans from various parts of society engage in dialogue with the Taliban," said Norway's Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt.
"We will be clear about our expectations of the Taliban, particularly as regards girls' education and human rights, such as women's right to participate in society," she added.
In Oslo, the Taliban will meet representatives of the Norwegian authorities and officials from a number of allied countries.
In a press statement, Norway's Foreign Ministry said meetings will also take place between the Taliban delegation and other Afghans with backgrounds from a range of fields.
These include women leaders, journalists, and individuals working to safeguard human rights and address humanitarian, economic, social and political issues, the statement added.
"These meetings do not represent a legitimisation or recognition of the Taliban. But we must talk to the de facto authorities in the country. We cannot allow the political situation to lead to an even worse humanitarian disaster," Huitfeldt said.
Afghanistan is contending with drought, a pandemic, an economic collapse and the effects of years of conflict. Some 24 million people are experiencing acute food insecurity. Reports indicate that one million children could die of starvation. According to UN estimates, more than half of the population will be facing famine this winter, and 97 per cent of the population could fall below the poverty line this year.
Earlier this week, a Norwegian delegation visited Kabul for talks on the dire humanitarian situation in the country. (ANI)