Washington, D.C. — Women’s rights will not be sacrificed in any settlement between the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Taliban militants, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Thursday.
Clinton ruled out U.S. support, or at least her own, for negotiations with anyone who would roll back advances for Afghan women achieved since a U.S.-led invasion ousted the militant Islamic Taliban movement from power in 2001.
“There are certain conditions that have to be met” to hold talks with insurgents about laying down arms, Clinton said during an appearance with Karzai. Karzai and a large delegation of government ministers and advisers, including several women, were finishing four days of talks in Washington.
Among the conditions for peace talks, midlevel Taliban leaders would have to renounce violence, cut ties with al-Qaida and its affiliates, and abide by Afghanistan’s laws and constitution, Clinton said.
“And on a personal note, they must respect women’s rights.”
Karzai nodded beside her but did not address the women’s rights aspect of possible talks with the Taliban. The other conditions apply, he said.