Taliban’s Participation At Doha Meet Conditional, Group Tells Qatari Delegation

Friday, 05/24/2024

Mullah Abdul Kabir, the Taliban's Deputy Prime Minister for Political Affairs, conveyed to a Qatari delegation on Thursday that the Taliban's "effective participation" in the third Doha meeting hinges on the acceptance of their demands.

The Minister of State for Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs highlighted that the absence of the Taliban would render the Doha meeting "ineffective”.

The United Nations has scheduled this third round with special representatives for Afghanistan on June 30 and July 1 in Doha, Qatar. Earlier this week, the UN Deputy Secretary-General extended a formal invitation to the Taliban during a visit to Kabul, emphasising on international dialogue.

Continuing the preparations for the Doha meeting, a Qatari delegation led by Minister of State for Qatar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Al-Khulaifi arrived in Kabul on Thursday to meet senior Taliban officials.

During their discussions, as noted in a Taliban statement, the group's Deputy Prime Minister expressed hope that "the Doha meeting would foster meaningful international engagement with the Islamic Emirate”. Mullah Abdul Kabir insisted that Taliban participation would be "effective" only if their preconditions were met. He reaffirmed the sufficiency of UNAMA's presence in Afghanistan, dismissing the need for a new special representative, a significant point of contention slated for discussion at the meeting.

The Deputy Prime Minister did not specify the conditions set by the Taliban for their participation in the upcoming session. Their absence from the second Doha meeting was due to unmet demands.

The Taliban's Foreign Ministry previously declared that the Islamic Emirate would participate as Afghanistan's sole legitimate representative if the environment was conducive to transparent, high-level negotiations with the UN on all pertinent issues. They considered past participation unproductive due to a lack of progress on these fronts.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres has noted that accommodating the Taliban's requests would imply formal recognition of the group.

The United Nations and member states have not recognised the Taliban government, urging substantial reforms in their governance and human rights practices, and a severance of ties with terrorist groups.

Echoing this international stance, Qatar's Al-Khulaifi advocated for Afghanistan's constructive global relations and the Taliban's involvement in international forums, while also stressing on the importance of national reconciliation and human rights adherence in Afghanistan.

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