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Female MPs in talks with Taliban reps in Norway

KABUL: Some Afghan female lawmakers and a member of the High Peace Council (HPC) on Wednesday began talks with Taliban representatives in Norway, a source said.

An independent journalist based in the European nation, Ramish Arman, told Pajhwok Afghan News the talks kicked off on Wednesday behind closed doors in Oslo, where the two delegations arrived two days ago.

Ramish did not explain the agenda of the meeting, but said the Norwegian state television had reported the two sides would discuss the peace process and women’s rights in Afghanistan.

Lawmakers Shukria Barakzai, Fawzia Kofi and HPC member Hawa Alam Nuristan represented the Afghan delegation, the journalist said, but did not name the Taliban representatives.

Arman said he had contacted the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Norway, but failed to elicit information about the exact timing and location of the negotiations.

Meanwhile, the HPC in Kabul distanced itself from the talks in Norway. HPC deputy head Abdul Hakim Mujahid said he was not aware of the talks and refused to comment.

The Taliban have also not spoken about sending their delegation to Norway.

Earlier, Afghan and Taliban leaders had conducted informal negotiations in different foreign countries, including Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Norway has so far granted $135 million assistance to Afghanistan for development of women and their capacity building.

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