Tuesday, June 18, 2024

UN says Taliban not invited to Doha meeting

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has not invited the Taliban administration to a meeting he is holding with special envoys on Afghanistan from various countries in Qatar's Doha next week, a UN spokesperson has stated.

“The Secretary-General has not extended an invitation to the de facto authorities,” UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said on Friday.

Last week the United Nations had to stress that the meeting will not focus on the possible international recognition of the Taliban administration after comments by the deputy UN chief sparked concern and confusion.

The gathering in Qatar on Monday and Tuesday is instead intended to focus on reinvigorating “the international engagement around common objectives for a durable way forward on … Afghanistan,” Dujarric added.

Guterres’ deputy, Amina Mohammed, had suggested last week that the meeting in Doha “could find those baby steps to put us back on the pathway to recognition.”

The Taliban seized power in August 2021 as US-led forces withdrew following 20 years of war.

In December, the 193-member UN General Assembly approved postponing, for the second time, a decision on whether to recognize the Afghan Taliban administration by allowing them to send a United Nations ambassador to New York.

The UN Security Council unanimously condemned on Thursday a Taliban administration ban on Afghan women working for the United Nations in Afghanistan and called on Taliban leaders to “swiftly reverse” a crackdown on the rights of women and girls.

The Taliban says it respects women’s rights. Taliban officials added that decisions on female aid workers are an “internal issue.”

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