Kabul- A delegation from the new Afghan government has arrived in the Norwegian capital, Oslo, for three days of public talks with diplomats and representatives of civil society in Afghanistan, in an attempt to explain the government’s position to the West and the United States, and turn a new page with the international community.
This is the first visit of the acting Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaki to Oslo, after the Taliban movement came to power in mid-August last year.
Before leaving Kabul, the minister said that the visit will last for 3 days and he will discuss the political, economic and humanitarian situation in the country with world leaders. The Afghan delegation will meet with Norwegian, European Union, American and Arab officials, in addition to a number of Afghans.
Minister Mottaki expressed his hope to open a new page with the international community and the United States, noting that he met several times with Norwegian officials in Doha and Kabul, but said that this time is different as “we sit at the table with a clear vision and agenda.”
Although the meetings are held for humanitarian reasons in Afghanistan, the Taliban movement is trying to raise the issue of international recognition of its new government in the country.
Shafie Azam, a member of the government delegation in the Oslo negotiations, told Al Jazeera Net, “Norway is trying to prepare the appropriate ground for opening a new page between the United States and the Taliban, and that foreign forces withdrew from Afghanistan and the war ended, and there is a need to restore diplomatic relations between the two countries, and this is what we expect from the international community.” .
Experts on Afghan affairs say that the new government should seize this opportunity and agree with the United States and the international community for major goals that affect the future of the Afghan people, and that the declared goal of the Oslo meeting is to find a way out of the current humanitarian crisis in the country.
Writer and political researcher Hikmat Jalil tells Al Jazeera Net, “The United States is trying to test the Taliban’s pulse: is it ready to give up some of its positions toward women’s education and human rights, and does the government represent all spectrums of the Afghan people.”
On the third and final day of the Oslo negotiations, Taliban representatives will meet with the 16-person delegation, including figures from the previous government, figures close to former President Hamid Karzai, and representatives of civil society and women. the country’s future.
A source in the Afghan Foreign Ministry tells Al-Jazeera Net that the government delegation’s sitting with Afghan figures in Oslo does not mean the start of the Afghan negotiations again, and the government does not see the need for this, “but we sit with them to hear from them how we can modify the government formation and so that they have a role as citizens.”
The former Afghan intelligence member explains the failure to invite the opposition front to the Taliban that the United States and the European Union accepted the fait accompli of the government led by the movement and want to deal with it gradually, and that sending humanitarian aid is the beginning of the journey, and that the front that opposes the ruling will not find anyone standing behind it, but the matter is due to: How does the Taliban agree with the international community?
Phases of the Oslo meetings
The Oslo meeting will be in 3 phases, where the first day the government delegation will sit with representatives of Washington, London, Berlin and the European Union, and the next day will discuss setting up a mechanism for distributing international and European aid to the Afghan people. Afghanistan to the government delegation.
The Afghan government believes that it has come a long way, and its participation in such meetings means that the West and the United States will recognize its government.
Shukria Barkzi, the former Afghan ambassador to Norway and a women’s rights activist, tells Al Jazeera Net: Norway has always played a major role in resolving the conflict, and is still trying to persuade the Taliban to form a viable government because it has good relations with the Taliban and I do not think that this meeting will be a prelude to recognizing the government that formed it The Taliban, and therefore it has a lot to obtain national and international legitimacy, and this cannot be in one meeting.
Before Norway, the Taliban had visited Iran, Turkey, Pakistan and Doha and held talks with American representatives, but the meeting with Norway is different, as there is a third party that has entered the line now.
Kabul University professor Abdullah Awab told Al Jazeera Net that most of the Afghan civil society delegation came from the capital, and they could sit with the government there, but the meeting between them and Minister Mottaki in Oslo was an attempt to pressure the Taliban to give up at least some of their positions in the field of women’s education and its work.
In 2015, Norway hosted a meeting between representatives of the former government and the Taliban, and the meeting was attended by a 6-member delegation representing the government and a 3-member delegation representing the Taliban, but the meetings did not produce much results.
Norway tried to host the Afghan peace negotiations between the previous government and the Taliban, which began in the Qatari capital, but the Afghan parties did not agree on this.