United Kingdom officials meet with Taliban representatives to discuss humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan

The British Foreign Office said on Friday that top UK officials met with Taliban leaders to discuss the dire humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

British representatives returned to Afghanistan on Thursday, according to a UK government spokesperson, for talks on how to respond to the country’s deepening humanitarian crisis.

Nick Dyer, the UK’s Special Envoy for Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Affairs, Hugo Shorter, the UK Mission to Afghanistan’s Charge d’Affaires ad Interim, and Hester Waddams, the UK Mission to Afghanistan’s Deputy Head of Mission and Political Counsellor, met with senior Taliban officials, including Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi and Abdul Haq Wasiq.

“As well as discussing the dire humanitarian situation, officials made clear to the Taliban the UK’s serious concerns about human rights, including those of women, girls and minorities, and the treatment of women’s rights activists,” the UK spokesperson added.

Separately, Hugo Shorter said both sides discussed the humanitarian crisis, terrorism, and the UK’s serious concerns about the country’s human rights situation, including women, girls, and minorities, in a Twitter post.

“We underlined that the negative trend, including the lengthy detention of female activists, reprisals and extra-judicial killings is deeply concerning. We stressed that all girls should return to school in the spring,” he added.

Last year’s conflict forced more than 700,000 Afghans to flee their homes, adding to the 5.5 million people who had already been displaced in previous years, according to the UN migration agency.

According to Ugochi Daniels, the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Deputy Director-General for Operations, “the ongoing crisis in Afghanistan is intensifying humanitarian needs and increasing displacement risks both inside the country and across borders to countries in the region.”

Afghans, particularly women and girls, are becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, according to the UN agency.

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