The Afghan Taliban have abandoned their opposition to the schooling of girls, according to the country's education minister.
Farooq Wardak suggested that ongoing negotiations with the Taliban would not compromise achievements in expanding the number of children at school in Afghanistan since the overthrow of the radical Islamist movement.
Under the hard-line Taliban regime from 1996 to 2001, women were forced to wear the burkha and banned from working or getting an education.
Mr Wardak, who visited Britain this week for the Education World Forum, claimed there had been major shifts in views about schooling in Afghanistan since 2001.
He said: "It is attitudinal change, it is behavioural change, it is cultural change. What I am hearing at the very upper policy level of the Taliban is that they are no longer opposing girls' education."