WASHINGTON -- A group of Afghan politicians and civil society members, including several women, have been holding talks with representatives of the Taliban in Norway.
A Norwegian Foreign Ministry spokesman told RFE/RL in an e-mail that the participants are attending the “informal discussion” in their individual capacities while expressing their personal views.
The ministry added that it is Norwegian policy to facilitate contacts such as these in which local stakeholders find them useful.
“In our view, it is positive that Afghan political stakeholders, including civil society members and women politicians, are engaging with one another in their personal capacities for this informal exchange of views,” the ministry said.
Female lawmakers Shukria Barekzai and Fawzia Kofi and two female members of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council -- Hawa Alem Nuristani and Sedigheh Balkhi -- are reportedly among the participants.
Under the 1996-2001 rule of the Taliban in Afghanistan, women were deprived of their basic rights.