Speed Reads

hat in hand

Taliban, in desperate need of humanitarian aid, meets with Western leaders in Norway

Representatives of Afghanistan's Taliban government opened three days of talks with Western government officials and Afghan women's rights and human rights activists in Norway on Sunday, The Associated Press reported.

According to NBC News, the U.S. delegation said it plans to discuss "the formation of a representative political system; responses to the urgent humanitarian and economic crises; security and counterterrorism concerns; and human rights, especially education for girls and women."

A video clip that showed Taliban fighters laughing at a female journalist who asked if women would be able to hold elected office under Taliban rule went viral around the time of the U.S. withdrawal last summer.

Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, who leads the Taliban delegation to Oslo, said he hopes the trip will be "a gateway for a positive relationship with Europe." His delegation previously attended meetings in Russia, Iran, Qatar, Pakistan, China, and Turkmenistan.

He is also expected to press for Western countries to unfreeze nearly $10 billion of Afghan money.

According to the United Nations, most of Afghanistan's 38 million people live below the poverty line, and as many as one million children are in danger of starvation, Politico reported.