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Macron Wants G20 To Pressure Taliban On Women’s Rights


French President Emmanuel Macron. (file photo)

French President Emmanuel Macron says he wants the Group of 20 (G20) major economies to set conditions for recognizing the Taliban-led government, including ensuring women’s and girls' rights are protected.

After it toppled the internationally recognized government in Kabul in mid-August, the hard-line group suggested it was now more moderate than during its brutal rule on Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, but the Taliban-led, all-male government has rolled back the rights of girls and women in recent weeks.

Girls have been excluded from returning to secondary schools and the vast majority of women have been ordered not to return to work.

Speaking to France-Inter radio on October 5 ahead of an extraordinary G20 summit on Afghanistan late this month in Rome, Macron said global powers should tell the Taliban: “You must absolutely give young girls in your country a future, and that is one of the things that we will look at before recognizing you.”

Another condition for recognition should be that the Taliban allow continued humanitarian operations and refuse to cooperate with “Islamist terrorist groups” in the region, the French president said.

Macron said it shouldn't be only Western powers setting such conditions but they should also “convince regional powers, powers that don’t necessarily have the same values as we do on all issues, to act together.”

At a meeting of G20 ministers on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York last month, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi urged his counterparts to unfreeze Afghanistan’s foreign assets and stop exerting “political pressure” on the Taliban.

The G20 comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

With reporting by AP
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