Swiss raise rights concerns, including girls’ education, with Afghan Taliban

GENEVA: Switzerland has raised concerns about human rights in Afghanistan, including about girls' education, in a meeting with the Taliban, a government spokesman said on Friday (Feb 11), as the new rulers in Kabul wrapped up a week of talks in Geneva.

The trip is seen as a key step in Taliban efforts to boost outreach efforts as they seek to persuade foreign powers to officially recognise them and restore the aid money that has been cut off in protest of their takeover last August.

The delegation met with Swiss officials as well as the Red Cross and other humanitarian groups in the talks that touched on aid needs, security concerns and health care, according to participants who attended the closed-door talks.

In an emailed response to questions, foreign ministry spokesperson Paola Ceresetti said Switzerland had raised the issue of abductions and reprisals including the targeting of reporters, without specifically discussing the detention of two journalists reported by the UN Refugee Agency on Friday.

Berne had also raised the "systematic exclusion" of girls and women from education, politics, society and public life and said it expected girls to be back in school in March, she said.

Artmotion Asia

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