Taliban representatives have been meeting this week with female Afghan lawmakers and peace negotiators in the Norwegian capital Oslo, a Taliban spokesman and the Afghan president’s office said on Friday. In an email to media organizations, the Taliban’s Zabihullah Mujahid said the discussions were informal and could not be categorized as
“peace talks.” An Afghan official told The Associated Press that talks took place on June 3 and 4 as part of a long-term Afghan peace initiative by the Norwegian government. Norway’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Frode Andersen said the meetings would conclude on Friday. At least five female parliamentarians, including prominent women’s rights advocates Fawzia Koofi and Shukria Barakzai, had taken part, attending as “independent representatives” from parliament, the Afghan official said. “They are not part of any (Afghan) government initiative, and were invited to an unofficial meeting, not as official delegates,” he said, speaking on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.