Sweden demands respect for human rights for contact with Taliban

‘We demand human rights, democracy, .. rights of girl and women,’ says Swedish foreign minister

ISTANBUL (AA) – Sweden demands respect for human rights with any contact with the Taliban, its foreign minister said, according to media reports late Tuesday.

“We demand human rights, democracy, and the rights of girls and women in order to have any contact with the Taliban at all,” Ann Linde told Swedish radio, SR. “[The Taliban] are saying that no one should be afraid … but there has been no reason to establish any greater trust in that sort of statement by the Taliban.”

“What [they] have said among the political leadership has not happened on the ground. We must see that this is not just empty rhetoric,” she said.

Linde discussed “the situation in Afghanistan” on Wednesday with EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson.

“It’s important to help as many as possible in the country while preparing to provide protection in our countries,” Linde wrote on Twitter.

The war between the Taliban and Afghan forces intensified as foreign troops announced their withdrawal from the country by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that led to the US invasion.

The Taliban made rapid military advances in recent weeks and took control of the capital on Sunday as Afghan government forces fled or surrendered. Former President Ashraf Ghani also left the country.


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