The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs says hosting the three-day talks between the Islamic Emirate, Afghan political leaders and Afghans representing media, women, and civil society, and envoys and officials of Western countries, does not indicate a "legitimization" of the Islamic Emirate.
The ministry in a statement said it is important that the Afghans sat together and talked face-to-face about their views on the humanitarian situation, human rights and the future of their country.
“Let me stress that facilitating talks such as these in no way represents a legitimization of the de facto authorities in Afghanistan. Nor does it represent any change in Norwegian policy. We know the Taliban will actively defend their own interests – and are seeking legitimacy. That is one of the reasons that I, as Minister of Foreign Affairs, did not meet with them. We have issued clear demands, and now we must wait and see if they deliver on what they have said,” Minister of Foreign affairs Anniken Huitfeldt said.
Huitfeldt said legitimization must come from the people of Afghanistan, emphasizing the Islamic Emirate should form an inclusive government to ensure stability in the country. “For the first time since taking power, the Taliban agreed to have a in-depth political discussion with women activists and other opinion leaders in Afghan society. Face to face, in a safe place, they were given a clear message: legitimacy must come from the Afghans themselves, and it requires reconciliation and a more inclusive form of government,” she said.
According to Norway's foreign minister, the meetings provide a basis for further contact between Afghans to seek ways towards reconciliation. It also was an opportunity to talk about Afghanistan’s dire humanitarian needs. “The meetings here in Oslo provided a good opportunity for Western countries such as Norway, France, the UK, Italy, Germany and the United States as well as the EU to make clear what they expect of the Taliban. If we are to help the population and prevent an even worse humanitarian crisis, we must have dialogue with the de facto authorities in the country,” she said.
The Norwegian foreign minister said human rights was one of the key topics discussed with the Islamic Emirate’s delegates, who stressed that her country will continue pursuing such dialogue to promote human rights and women’s participation in society.
The acting Minister of Foreign Affairs Amir Khan Muttaqi meanwhile said that the talks in Oslo were important for the extension of diplomatic relations between the Islamic Emirate and the world.
“We have had good meetings with the Afghan sides. We also had good meetings with the envoys of the various European countries,” he said. “We want to make Afghanistan an economic hub and we are trying to rescue Afghanistan from future problems.”
Muttaqi also met with several Norwegian humanitarian organizations who pledged to continue providing assistance to the people of Afghanistan.