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DOHA: The United States expects the Taliban to reverse its decision to keep girls out of Afghan schools “in coming days”, US special envoy Thomas West said Saturday.

The United States called off talks with the hardline administration on the sidelines of the Doha Forum in response to the ban announced on Wedesday.

West who led talks with the Taliban, told the forum: “I’m hopeful that we’ll see a reversal of this decision in coming days.

“I was surprised at the turnaround this past Wednesday and I think you have seen the world react and condemn this. It is a breach first and foremost of the Afghan people’s trust.”

West said the Taliban, who retook Kabul last August after a two-decade war against a Western-backed government, had given other countries assurances during talks in recent months that girls would be allowed back to schools.

The Taliban hard line closed girls’ secondary schools just hours after they reopened on Wednesday, prompting international anger.

Suhail Shaheen, head of the Taliban representative office in Doha, said in a text message to AFP that the group did not have a policy against girls’ education.

“There are some practical issues to be sorted out at first. Unfortunately, they were not resolved before the scheduled deadline of opening girls schools on March 23,” Shaheen said.

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