Taliban delegation visiting US
ISLAMABAD, June 5 (UPI) -- A Taliban delegation headed by their minister for higher education is visiting the United States at the invitation of several U.S. universities and has signed some agreements to send Afghan students to North America for further studies, the Taliban said.
The United States does not recognize the Taliban-run government in Afghanistan, preventing Afghan students from going to the United States for studies.
A spokesman for the Afghan embassy in Islamabad said that because relations between the United States and Afghanistan showed no signs of improvement, the Taliban welcomed direct contact with the private sector. Following a dispute over terrorism-suspect Osama bin Laden, the United States encouraged U.N.-led sanctions against Afghanistan, which were imposed last November.
Washington provides some financial assistance for humanitarian needs in Afghanistan but it is channelled through the United Nations.
Officials at the Taliban embassy in Islamabad said their delegation has already signed separate agreements with various American universities for allowing Afghan students to study there. They are holding further talks with some other universities as well, said an Afghan embassy spokesman. He said some universities had agreed to provide laboratory equipment and computers for different departments in Afghanistan.
"Other universities asked us to encourage Afghan women to visit the United States for higher education. We are considering the proposal but any decision we take will reflect our cultural values," the spokesman said.
The Taliban oppose higher education for women and have closed several of their colleges and schools, urging the women to stay at home.
The policy has earned them an almost total isolation in the world.
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