Taliban to attend crucial UN huddle in Doha

Delegation to attend conference on June 30

Kamran Yousaf June 17, 2024


The Afghan Taliban government will attend the upcoming UN conference in Doha, breaking the deadlock that was hampering the progress on the way forward for the international community on how to deal with the de facto rulers in Kabul.

Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid on Sunday told reporters that authorities in Kabul decided to participate in the third UN conference being held in Doha on June 30.

The development is seen as a major breakthrough as the Taliban boycotted the last UN meeting held in Doha in February.

Taliban stayed away from the Doha huddle attended by special representatives of 25 countries, the UN Secretary General and Afghan civil society activists.

The Taliban’s move stemmed from their reservations over the agenda of the conference as well as the invitation to certain Afghan activists. Taliban were adamant that they were the only true representative of Afghanistan and hence any invitation to Afghans should have gone through their system.

Secondly, the interim government was not happy with the agenda of the conference, particularly, a proposal that has been seeking the appointment of a UN special envoy on Afghanistan.

The proposal was part of the broader recommendations prepared by a UN special coordinator, who conducted an independent assessment of how to deal with the Taliban government. Recommendations were submitted to the UN Secretary General in November last year and the
UNSC approved them in December with China and Russia abstaining from the voting.

The Taliban assert that appointing a UN special envoy for Afghanistan is unnecessary, as such appointments are typically made for countries in conflict or war. They contend that Afghanistan is now at peace and has a legitimate government representing its people.

The absence of the Taliban from the second UN conference couldn’t deliver the required results as UN Secretary General sought time for consensus.

Ahead of the upcoming conference, the UN and other key stakeholders engaged with the Taliban, urging them to attend the meeting.

It is believed that Qatar, the host of the conference, played a major part in persuading the Taliban to join the UN process.

“A delegation of the Islamic Emirate will participate in the coming Doha conference. They will represent Afghanistan there and express Afghanistan’s position,” Taliban government spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said of the talks, which are scheduled to start June 30.

The participation of the Taliban authorities in the two-day conference of special envoys on Afghanistan had been in doubt after they were not included in the first round and then refused an invitation to the second round in February.

Mujahid told local media on Sunday the decision had been made to send a delegation, the members of which would be announced later as it was deemed “beneficial to Afghanistan”.

The third Doha meeting on Afghanistan, with the participation of special representatives of countries for Afghanistan, will be held in Doha in two weeks hosted by the United Nations. The United Nations has stated that the purpose of this meeting is to increase the world’s structured and organised interaction with the caretaker government.



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