Afghanistan: Women will be included for the first time in the Taliban delegation to talks this month with U.S. officials and Afghan representatives in Qatar over the future of Afghanistan, the movement’s main spokesman was quoted by Reuters on Monday.
“There will be women among Taliban delegation members in the Doha, Qatar meeting,” Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s main spokesman, was quoted saying.
He did not name the women, but added, “These women have no family relationship with the senior members of the Taliban, they are normal Afghans, from inside and outside the country, who have been supporters and part of the struggle of the Islamic Emirate”.
The April 19-21 meeting in Doha will be the latest in a series of talks between Taliban and U.S. officials and is also expected to include a 150-strong delegation of Afghan politicians and civil society figures.
The Taliban have maintained their rejection of formal talks with the Afghan government, which they dismiss as a “puppet” regime controlled by the United States.
UPDATE – 16th April 2019:
Taliban’s official spokesperson on Tuesday issued clarification on the Reuters report on inclusion of women in peace talks in Doha.
Writing in a tweet, Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said:
# My correspondence with @ is misconstrued. I said that women will partake in the upcoming intra-Afghan conference, just like those in Moscow. We said nothing relating to women in negotiation team & neither do we believe it is necessary. – Mujahid