US envoy meets Taliban diplomat and presses women’s rights

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The US special envoy on Afghanistan met with the Taliban’s chief diplomat on Saturday and stressed international opposition to the group’s treatment of women and girls.

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Since surging back to power last year, the Taliban have imposed a slew of restrictions on civil society, many focused on reining in the rights of women and girls.

Earlier this month, Afghanistan’s supreme leader ordered women to cover up fully in public, including their faces, ideally with the traditional burqa.

“Girls must be back in school, women free to move & work w/o restrictions for progress to normalized relations,” US Special Representative on Afghanistan Thomas West wrote on Twitter of his meeting in Qatar with the Taliban’s foreign minister Amir Khan Mutaqi.

The two also discussed economic stabilization in Afghanistan and concerns over attacks on civilians, West added.

The country is teetering on the verge of economic disaster, after various nations froze Afghanistan’s assets held abroad and cut off aid.

“Dialogue will continue in support of Afghan people and our national interests,” West said in his post.

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