Afghan Civil Society Representatives Not Invited to Doha Meeting

Monday, 06/17/2024

Agence France-Presse, citing diplomatic sources, reported that representatives of Afghanistan's civil society have not been invited to the third Doha meeting. The UN Secretary-General will also not attend the session.

This announcement follows the Taliban's declaration on Sunday that they will participate in the meeting. According to the report, plans are in place to consult with civil society members before and after the Doha meeting, but they will not attend sessions where the Taliban members are present.

It remains unclear who these consulted civil society members will be.

Unlike the previous two Doha meetings, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will not travel to Qatar for this session. The Taliban and UN officials have been negotiating in Kabul for weeks regarding the group's participation in the Doha meeting.

On Sunday, the Taliban confirmed that a delegation from their group would attend the third Doha meeting. However, they warned that any changes to the composition or agenda of the meeting could affect their decision to participate.

In the second Doha meeting, the UN attempted to persuade the Taliban to attend, but these efforts were unsuccessful. At that time, the Taliban set conditions, including that no one but their group should represent Afghans at the meeting.

It appears that for the third Doha meeting, the UN has accepted the Taliban's demands, and the meeting will be held with the Taliban as the sole representatives from Afghanistan.

Women's protest movements and political parties opposing the Taliban have repeatedly stated that holding the Doha meeting without representatives of women and political parties is akin to giving concessions to the Taliban. On June 5, in a joint statement, political groups and protesting women wrote, "Engaging with terrorist groups will not solve the problem and will exacerbate the consequences of the crisis."

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