UN says envoys from 22 countries will attend Doha meeting on Afghanistan

The venue for the second Doha meeting in Qatar in Feb. 2024. File photo.

The United Nations has confirmed that envoys from 22 countries and representatives from approximately eight international institutions will attend the Doha meeting on Afghanistan, scheduled for June 30 to July 1.

The meeting will be chaired by Rosemary DiCarlo, the UN Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs and Peacebuilding. Nearly all participants, including regional countries and the United States, have expressed their willingness to attend.

Matthew Miller, spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State, announced at a press conference that the U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan, Thomas West, and the special envoy for Afghan women and human rights, Rina Amiri, will represent the United States at the meeting.

While detailed agendas have not been fully disclosed, the UN has indicated that discussions will cover counter-narcotics, the private sector, and the banking system as key topics for the third round of the Doha meeting.

The Taliban has also confirmed its participation, with a delegation led by spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid. Mujahid, a close aide to the Taliban’s leader Hibatullah Akhundzada, now based in Kandahar, will be accompanied by Suhail Shaheen, head of the Taliban’s political office in Qatar; Noor Ahmad Agha, deputy governor of the Taliban-run Central Bank; Abdul Haq Hamkar, deputy counter-narcotics minister; and officials from the Taliban-run ministry of industry and commerce.

Political analyst Torek Farhadi noted, “It appears the Taliban is sending a technical delegation to Doha, aiming to avoid discussions on human rights and political issues. However, this does not indicate a downgrade in the delegation’s level.”

Human rights and women’s rights activists have voiced serious concerns about the upcoming meeting. The international community is closely watching for outcomes that address these critical issues.