Monday, May 16

Ready for meetings with western countries. The United States thanks Norway for the opportunity to meet the Taliban.

On Monday, the Taliban and the United States will sit down at the meeting table with Norway and others. At the same time, it is possible that there will be direct meetings between the Taliban and individual countries.

On Monday morning, international special representatives and representatives of Afghans with a background from civil society met at the Soria Moria hotel in Oslo. Photo:

No joint statement or statement is expected after the meeting at Soria Moria on Monday.

The day started with the various countries that have sent special representatives to Norway, meeting with representatives from Afghan civil society. This includes people on the run from Taliban-ruled Kabul.

From about 10 o’clock, the countries – and Norway – will then go into meetings with the Taliban. These are meetings that are expected to last for much of the day.

It is also possible that there will be meetings directly between the Taliban and some of the participating countries. The countries that have sent special representatives to the Oslo meetings are the USA, France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy and the EU.

The United States hopes for stability in the country

Meetings with civil society are followed by meetings directly with the Taliban.

German authorities have informed NTB that it is natural to talk to the Taliban, while the United States states that they are grateful that Norway has taken the initiative for this.

– We thank Norway for organizing these important meetings which also include several of our important allies in Europe and opportunities for bilateral talks with the Afghan representatives, says a spokesman in the US Foreign Ministry to NTB.

“We hope the Oslo meetings will help us alleviate the suffering of the Afghan people and pave the way for a just and stable future in the country,” the spokesman said.

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Received strong criticism

The Taliban has sent a 15-man delegation, and there has been strong criticism that Norway is contributing to the legitimation of the Taliban’s government.

Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt (Labor Party) has been clear that the meetings in Oslo are not a recognition of the Taliban board, but the Taliban have stated during their stay in Oslo that the meetings are the first step on the way to just that.

There has also been criticism that the delegation includes people who have been on lists as wanted persons.

It includes Anas Haqqani, brother of Sirajuddin Haqqani, who heads the Haqqani network. The network was behind the attack on the Serena Hotel in 2008, where the Norwegian journalist Carsten Thomassen was shot and killed. Jonas Gahr Støre (Labor Party), who is now prime minister, was at the hotel as foreign minister when the attack took place.

– Understand that people react

Støre is now in New York and says he was not aware of who the Taliban would send to Norway before they arrived.

– I understand that many react to seeing the Taliban in Norway. They have a set of values ​​that is as far from ours as it is possible to get, Støre says to Aftenposten.

During the meetings, there has also been a debate that two women activists have been arrested in Afghanistan. The Taliban denies that this has happened, writes NRK.

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