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Switzerland outlines humanitarian expectations to Taliban

Ambassador Raphael Nägeli
Ambassador Raphael Nägeli outlined Switzerland's expectations to the visiting Taliban delegation. © Keystone / Martial Trezzini

An Afghan Taliban delegation visiting Geneva faced calls by Swiss diplomats to respect human rights and international humanitarian law.

There are no current plans to re-open a Swiss cooperation office in Kabul that was evacuated and closed when the Taliban surged to power last year.

The 11-strong Taliban delegation was invited to Switzerland by the Swiss non-governmental organisation Geneva Call. Part of its mission is to meet a range of NGOs to discuss the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

They also met on Thursday with Swiss officials, led by Ambassador Raphael Nägeli, Head of the Asia Pacific Division at the Swiss foreign ministry.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Nägeli said the talks had been “open” and “honest” without producing many concrete results.

The Taliban delegation repeated a promise to open up schooling for girls in Afghanistan from next month. “We expect them to keep this promise. We will judge them by their actions and not by their words,” said Nägeli.

“We are deeply concerned by reports of kidnappings and reprisals against people associated with the former Afghan government as well as violence against human rights defenders, women and intellectuals,” he added.

During the meeting the Taliban gave security assurances for the re-opening of the Swiss cooperation office. But Nägeli said the security situation was still too fragile to make such a decision.

He added that the meeting with the Taliban delegation was “neither a legitimation nor a recognition” of the Taliban regime.


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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR