Doha talks with Taliban suspended over girls school closure: US official
After the Taliban shut down girls secondary schools in Afghanistan, a US official says Washington suspended the Doha talks with the ruling movement.
The United States has canceled planned talks in Doha with the Taliban after the latter shut girls secondary schools, US officials confirmed.
A US State Department spokesperson said, "On Tuesday, we joined millions of Afghan families in expressing our deep disappointment with the Taliban's decision to not allow women and girls to return to secondary school."
"We have canceled some of our engagements, including planned meetings in Doha around the Doha Forum, and made clear that we see this decision as a potential turning point in our engagement," the spokesperson announced.
The Taliban, which seized power in August, shut down girls' schools this week just hours after reopening them.
According to the US spokesperson, "This decision by the Taliban, if it is not swiftly reversed, will profoundly harm the Afghan people, the country's prospects for economic growth, and the Taliban's ambition to improve their relations with the international community."
"We stand with Afghan girls and their families, who see education as a path to realizing the full potential of Afghanistan's society and economy," the spokesperson claimed.
In a joint statement Thursday, the foreign ministers of Britain, Canada, France, Italy, Norway, and the US, plus the high representative of the European Union, said the Taliban's decision will harm the group's "prospects for legitimacy."
The Taliban's decision to keep schools shuttered for girls came after a meeting late Tuesday by senior officials in the southern city of Kandahar, the movement's de facto power center and conservative spiritual heartland.