Four key meetings on Afghanistan convened ahead of Doha talks

In the lead-up to the upcoming Doha meeting on Afghanistan, four significant regional and international meetings have been held over the past month. These meetings have centered on the critical issues that will be addressed in Doha.

Tehran Meeting

On June 8, Iran, Russia, China, and Pakistan convened a regional contact group meeting in Tehran to discuss Afghanistan and the upcoming Doha talks. The Taliban’s foreign ministry announced that it had declined an invitation to attend, a move analysts interpret as indicative of its interest in engaging more with Western countries. Details from the Tehran meeting remain sparse as participants have not disclosed specifics.

UN Human Rights Council Session

The UN Human Rights Council held a session on June 18 where Richard Bennett, the UN Special Rapporteur, presented a report on the human rights situation in Afghanistan. Bennett emphasized the importance of including civil society and women’s rights representatives in the Doha meeting and cautioned against legitimizing the Taliban.

UN Security Council Meeting

On June 21, the UN Security Council discussed Afghanistan, with Roza Otunbayeva, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy and head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), presenting a quarterly report. Otunbayeva highlighted the necessity of Taliban participation in the Doha talks.

Vienna Summit

A summit of opposition politicians and groups was held in Vienna on June 24. This two-day meeting aimed to forge a collective political consensus to address Afghanistan’s ongoing crisis. It marks the fourth such meeting in Vienna since the Taliban took control of the country.

Looking Ahead to Doha

These meetings reflect the complex and multifaceted international engagement with Afghanistan. Parwiz Kawa, an analyst and journalist, noted, “The Doha meeting is an initiative of the UN. The discussions in Vienna and other forums are often more in-depth than those in Doha.”

As Afghanistan faces an uncertain future, the upcoming Doha meeting holds significant potential for addressing the country’s myriad challenges. All eyes are on the outcome, hoping for a resolution to the ongoing crisis.