• publish: 3 October 2020
  • time: 12:33 pm
  • category: Politics
  • No: 15576
Khalilzad meets with female talks team members

America supports Afghan women rights in peace talks

US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad met with the four female negotiating team members in Doha late Friday.

Khalilzad said determined to protect the rights of Afghan women should any peace deal be signed. 

Khalilzad arrived in Doha, Qatar two days ago and has met with the teams from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban, in what is believed to be a bid to get the stalled talks back on track. 

On Saturday, Khalilzad posted on Twitter and said he had met with Fawzia Koofi, Sarabi Habiba, Fatima Gailani and Sharifa Zurmati to “hear their thoughts on Afghanistan’s future.”

“These members of the Afghan negotiating team are determined to defend the rights of Afghan women and push for an end to the war and respect for the rights of all Afghans. 

“Their success is Afghanistan’s success. We stand with them,” said Khalilzad. 

Hard-fought successes for women in Afghanistan have become a focal point in the talks – especially as the Taliban team does not have a single female member on its negotiating team. 

On Friday, Khalilzad said in an interview with NPR that it is probably the first time the Taliban has women sitting across from them at the peace talks tables. 

He also said that the female members of the Afghan team say they are being respected in the negotiating room and that “they engage the Taliban directly and protect or defend their rights. I think that’s positive.”

“And we have told the Talibs that since they want to be treated as a normal player and have good relations with the United States as part of a future Afghan government, what happens with regard to the rights of women will be a key factor in shaping US policy with regard to that government. 

“Discrimination against women – going back to the situation that existed under the Taliban and closing schools for girls and young women, in other words – could be a red line that would have the most negative effect on US policy towards Afghanistan,” Khalilzad said.

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