Germany has sent senior diplomats to the Afghan capital Kabul for the first time since the Taliban seized power in the country three months ago.
The German Foreign Ministry said Special Representative for Afghanistan Jasper Wieck and Ambassador-designate Markus Potzel held talks with the Taliban government in the city on Tuesday, Belga News Agency reports.
The talks focused on areas “where practical cooperation is both necessary and possible,” particularly with regard to the humanitarian situation in the country, the ministry said.
The German embassy in Kabul was evacuated in mid-August as the Taliban advance proved faster than expected.
Western governments have been in a dilemma since the takeover. They want to help the impoverished population, which is at risk of starvation, but also want to avoid supporting the Taliban, whose regime is not recognised internationally.
There is particular concern for women and girls, who are excluded from society. Most girls of school age are banned from education and most women who were civil servants are now banned from working.
The Taliban claim that these measures are temporary but there is no sign that they will end.
In talks with German diplomats, Taliban government representatives guaranteed “safe and unrestricted access for humanitarian workers – including female staff – to communities in need of assistance,” according to Berlin.
The Islamist group also claimed that “equal access to education for girls and boys is a national necessity for Afghanistan.”
The German diplomatic service said they “have taken note of these pledges. Further commitments depend on their implementation.”