Special envoys ramp up meetings before Doha conference

Special envoys from various countries for Afghanistan have intensified their meetings in the days leading up to the upcoming conference in Doha, which is scheduled for Feb. 18.

Recently, the special representatives of China, Iran, Pakistan, and the European Union have been actively discussing Afghanistan. China’s special representative emphasized the need for increased coordination for regional stability during a visit to Pakistan, highlighting the crucial role of Afghanistan’s neighboring countries in maintaining regional stability.

According to the Uzbekistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Uzbekistan’s special representative for the President has engaged in five separate discussions with the special representatives of Iran, Pakistan, Britain, and the ambassadors of the Netherlands and Canada concerning Afghanistan. The Uzbek official also visited Kabul for talks with Taliban officials, including Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid, the Taliban’s Acting Minister of Defense.

Political experts believe that regional countries are concerned about their security and are seeking a coordinated stance at the Doha meeting. Nisar Ahmad Shirzai, a political affairs analyst, stated, “Iran, China, and Pakistan benefit from their relations with the Taliban. As the Doha meeting nears, these countries will likely agree to support the Taliban.” Akbar Sial Wardak, another analyst, added, “These countries have common security concerns about Afghanistan and benefit from their relationships with the country. This is why neighboring countries should attend the Doha meeting.”

Additionally, the EU’s special representative, Thomas Niclasion, discussed issues related to Afghanistan, including peace and stability in the region, with Indonesian Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani and Pakistani Foreign Minister.

Prior to the Doha meeting, two other gatherings have taken place in Kabul and London. In London, less than two weeks ago, the G7 special representatives for Afghanistan, including those from Canada, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Britain, and the United States, convened to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.

Despite these developments, the Taliban hosted a meeting titled “Regional Cooperation Initiative” five days ago, where Amir Khan Muttaqi asserted that Afghanistan does not require a special representative.