Women will be included for the first time in the Taliban delegation to peace talks in Qatar this month, the movement’s main spokesman said, ONA reports citing Reuters.
The April 19-21 meeting in Doha will be between the Taliban and a delegation comprising prominent Afghans, including opposition politicians and civil society activists. It follows similar talks between the two sides in Moscow in February.
“There will be women among Taliban delegation members in the Doha, Qatar meeting,” Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s main spokesman, said by telephone.
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”.
In a tweet, he specified that the women would only join the discussions with Afghan civil society and political representatives, not in the main negotiations with American officials, led by U.S. special peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad.
Khalilzad has not yet set dates for the next round of talks with the Taliban, a State Department spokesperson said.
“We do not have new U.S. talks with the Taliban to announce at this time. Before additional talks, we look forward to knowing the outcome of the intra-Afghan dialogue,” the spokesperson said in an email.