UN to invite Taliban ‘officials’ to an upcoming meeting: Statement

UNAMA’s political office in Kabul, headed by Scott Smith, has announced plans to hold a significant meeting similar to the Doha gathering, organized by the United Nations, before the end of 2023. The announcement was made during a meeting with Taliban at the Arg.

According to a statement from the Taliban, the meeting with Smith took place in Kabul on Wednesday with Mawlawi Zakir, the Taliban’s deputy chief minister.

During the meeting, UNAMA officials stated that the UN chief would invite Taliban “officials” to participate at the upcoming meeting, which will be hosted by Antonio Guterres in a format similar to the special envoys meeting held in Doha in May.

Smith affirmed the continuation of humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, highlighting that security has improved in the country.

According to the Taliban statement, Smith noted that UNAMA is working towards fostering understanding and “reducing the gap between Afghanistan and the world, and the mission will continue in Afghanistan.”

In the meeting, Taliban representative Zakir called on the international community to contribute to the implementation of development projects in Afghanistan and the completion of previous unfinished projects.

During the previous meeting held in Doha in May, special envoys from various countries expressed their concerns regarding the human rights situation in Afghanistan.

The possible invitation of Taliban “officials” to the upcoming UN meeting signifies a potential shift in diplomatic engagement, as the international community seeks avenues for dialogue and understanding with the Taliban-led government. The meeting aims to address key issues and explore possibilities for cooperation in Afghanistan’s development and stability.