Not Surprised That Taliban Did Not Participate In Doha Meet, Says US State Department Spox

Wednesday, 02/21/2024

Matthew Miller, US State Department spokesperson told Afghanistan International, that the US was not surprised that the Taliban did not participate in the Doha meeting as they have different goals.

Miller emphasised that the Taliban are not the only ones who have a stake in the future of Afghanistan.

He made these statement on Tuesday in response to the question of Marzia Hussaini, a reporter of Afghanistan International, about the US assessment of the Taliban's representative not going to the Doha meeting and the refusal of Russia and Iran to meet with the representatives of the Afghan civil society.

US State Department Spokesperson added that they encourage every country to interact with representatives of the civil society in addition to the Taliban.

The special representatives of Russia and Iran refused to meet with five representatives of the Afghan civil society at the Doha meeting at the request of the Taliban's foreign ministry. The Taliban's Foreign Ministry has said that they were invited to this UN meeting in Qatar without consulting with them.

Miller said that the purpose of the US special representatives' participation in the Doha meeting was to re-emphasise the Taliban's commitment to respect human rights and prevent Afghanistan from becoming a hotbed for terrorism.

“We were trying to achieve a number of things: One, to make it clear that Afghanistan should not be a hotbed for terrorist activities that impact other countries; two, a vision for Afghanistan with inclusive institutions in which its diverse groups all feel represented in a state that is truly inclusive; and number three, a concern about the respect of human rights, and in particular the rights of women and girls,” he said.

At the same time as the start of the Doha meeting on February 19, Abdul Salaam Hanafi, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Taliban, in a meeting with Kanni Wignaraja the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, said that the Taliban has ensured security in Afghanistan and has been successful in the fight against terrorism. Therefore, they have fulfilled the conditions for recognition.

Amir Khan Muttaqi, the Taliban's foreign minister, was scheduled to attend the Doha meeting. However, the participation of the senior Taliban diplomat was called off due to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres declining to meet with Muttaqi.

During a press conference, Guterres said that accepting the demands of the Taliban’s foreign minister was equivalent to recognising the group. He emphasised that the Taliban will not be recognised if they disregard the concerns of the world.

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