DECEMBER 9, 2022
Afghanistan News

UN Urges Taliban Representation at Qatar Conference on Afghanistan

UN Urges Taliban Representation at Qatar Conference on Afghanistan

The United Nations is advocating for Taliban participation in an upcoming two-day international conference on Afghanistan scheduled to be held in Qatar next week. Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi has announced their willingness to attend the February 18 meeting, provided they are recognized as official representatives of Afghanistan.

Hosted by U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the session will bring together special envoys from member states and regional organizations to discuss the international engagement approach with the Taliban since their rise to power. According to Stephane Dujarric, the spokesperson for the secretary-general, a key objective of the conference is to facilitate dialogue between special envoys and various Afghan stakeholders, including representatives from the de facto authorities and civil society, including women.

Taking place in Doha, Qatar's capital, this event marks the second U.N.-organized gathering within a year, contrasting with the previous session in May 2023 where the Taliban were not invited.

Muttaqi emphasized the Taliban's ongoing communication with relevant U.N. officials and expressed their position on potential participation in the conference during a meeting with Russian Ambassador Dmitry Zhirnov in Kabul. He underscored the importance of meaningful consultations between the Taliban and the U.N., emphasizing the responsibility of the Taliban as representatives of Afghanistan. However, Muttaqi also indicated that nonparticipation would be preferred if the Taliban's conditions are not considered.

The Doha meeting presents an opportunity for significant engagement between the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) and the U.N., highlighting the complexities and challenges in navigating diplomatic relations amidst the evolving situation in Afghanistan.

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