Taliban dismisses Vienna meeting as ‘empty words’

Participants of anti-Taliban figures’ meeting in Vienna. June 24, 2024.

KABUL, Afghanistan — The Taliban has sharply criticized a two-day meeting of anti-Taliban figures in Vienna, dismissing it as “empty words.”

Zakir Jalali, an adviser to the Taliban foreign minister, made these remarks in a post on X, responding to the Vienna meeting, which took place on Monday with the attendance of 70 anti-Taliban political and civil figures.

The Vienna meeting was held ahead of the third Doha meeting, hosted by the United Nations, where only the Taliban will engage in talks with special representatives of the international community.

Human Rights Watch previously stated that the UN had excluded women and civil society representatives from the third Doha meeting at the Taliban’s request. However, Roza Otunbayeva, head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), clarified that after the main Doha meetings, special representatives of the countries would meet with representatives of women and civil society.

In his reaction to the Vienna conference, Jalali added, “Those who have no plans, no public support, and no understanding of international politics, yet still pin their hopes on foreign intervention, are doomed to fail.”

The Vienna meeting featured speeches from prominent Afghan political and civil figures, including Ahmad Massoud, leader of the National Resistance Front; Rangin Dadfar Spanta, former National Security Advisor; and Mohammad Mohaqiq, a senior member of the Afghanistan Freedom Front, among others.

Before the conference, Ahmad Massoud stated that the goal of the meeting was “to find a solution for Afghanistan.”