Taliban hosts ‘regional’ meeting in Kabul ahead of Doha conference

KABUL – In preparation for the upcoming Doha meeting on Afghanistan, the Taliban’s foreign ministry commenced a regional meeting in Kabul with envoys from Russia and China. The Kabul-based Iranian envoy also participated, though the Pakistani envoy was absent.

The meeting, focused on Afghanistan’s future, also saw attendance from diplomats based in Kabul from Pakistan, Turkey, and various Central Asian states.

This gathering is a precursor to the broader discussions scheduled for next month in Doha.

At the opening of a regional meeting hosted by the Taliban’s foreign ministry, Acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi emphasized the need for regional cooperation and constructive engagement with Afghanistan. The meeting, attended by envoys from Russia, China, Iran, and other regional countries, precedes a United Nations-hosted meeting in Doha next month.

Muttaqi outlined several key areas for discussion, including creating a region-centric narrative for engagement with the Afghan government, addressing security threats, enhancing regional connectivity, advocating for the removal of sanctions on Afghanistan, and respecting diverse development and governance models.

Highlighting the importance of regional security, Muttaqi stated that Afghanistan’s current UN representation eliminates the need for an additional special UN representative.

The UN Security Council has approved the appointment of a United Nations Special Representative for Afghanistan, a topic expected to be discussed further in the upcoming Doha meeting.

Iran’s special representative for Afghanistan, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, stressed the importance of non-discriminatory governance within Afghanistan and peaceful coexistence with neighbors as vital components of regional development. He urged for these principles to be reflected in the meeting’s outcome.