Taliban gives cautious approval to UN assessment of Afghanistan

File Photo.

The Taliban has offered cautious approval of a recent United Nations report on Afghanistan by UN special coordinator Feridun Sinirlioglu, acknowledging its partial representation of the country’s realities.

This stance marks a shift from the group’s previous criticism of the report, particularly regarding the recommendation to appoint a UN special envoy for Afghanistan. Despite ongoing opposition to a related United Nations Security Council resolution, the Taliban has acknowledged the effectiveness of Sinirlioglu’s coordination efforts.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid commented, “Mr. Sinirlioglu understands Afghanistan’s realities to some extent.” He noted the positive impression Sinirlioglu made during discussions with Taliban leaders.

“His trips were effective, and the reports presented were accurate and good. The elders felt that Sinirlioglu has a good understanding of Afghanistan’s realities and situation, at least to some extent,” he said.

In 2023, Sinirlioglu led an independent review, culminating in UN Security Council Resolution 2721, which influences global interactions with Afghanistan. His mission, now extended by two months, focuses on aligning international efforts with Afghanistan’s internal needs, including the appointment of a special envoy.

Moeen Gul Samkanai, head of Afghanistan’s Rights and Justice Party, expressed hope for these efforts, emphasizing the need for inclusive dialogue and participation in domestic and foreign affairs.

“From the point of view of political parties and other civil branches, these efforts can be fruitful. They (the United Nations) agree that a dialogue should finally take place and Afghans should gather under one blanket to advance the affairs of their country as necessary,” he said.

The international community, meanwhile, continues to urge the Taliban to address the Afghan crisis by upholding human rights, particularly for women and girls, forming an inclusive government, and fostering dialogue. These demands have yet to be fully addressed by the Taliban, leaving the impact of these new global efforts on the Afghan crisis uncertain.