Taliban delegation due in Norway for humanitarian talks

·1 min read
FILE PHOTO: Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway Anniken Huitfeldt during the Foreign Ministers statements at the Nordic Council Session 2021, in the Folketing Hall at Christiansborg, in Copenhagen

OSLO (Reuters) - Representatives of Afghanistan's Taliban will arrive in Norway on Sunday for three days of talks on how to alleviate a humanitarian crisis, the Norwegian foreign ministry said on Friday.

"These meetings do not represent a legitimisation or recognition of the Taliban. But we must talk to the de facto authorities in the country," Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt said in a statement.

"We cannot allow the political situation to lead to an even worse humanitarian disaster," she said.

Millions of Afghans have been plunged deeper into poverty since last year's Taliban takeover, which resulted in disruption to aid programmes and deteriorating food security.

The Taliban representatives will meet Norwegian authorities as well as diplomats from several other countries from Jan. 23 to Jan. 25.

"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," Norway said.

(Reporting by Terje Solsvik; Editing by Robert Birsel)