EU Special Envoy Tomas Niklasson holds talks with Taliban in Kabul

KABUL, Afghanistan — EU Special Envoy Tomas Niklasson engaged in discussions with Taliban officials in Kabul over the past two days. His meetings included interactions with the Taliban’s economy minister, Taliban’s deputy minister of counternarcotics and Taliban’s deputy chief minister Abdul Kabir.

In his meeting with Abdul Kabir, the two sides discussed the upcoming Doha meeting, according to a Taliban statement.

Niklasson also met with Abdul Haq, the Taliban’s deputy minister of counternarcotics, in Kabul. A Taliban statement noted that the two sides deliberated on the combat against drug trafficking.

The Taliban-run Ministry of Interior reported that Niklasson expressed the EU’s readiness to assist in drug control efforts.

Additionally, on Tuesday, Jan. 5, Niklasson convened with Din Mohammad Haneef, the Taliban’s minister of economy. A statement from the Taliban stated that their discussions revolved around economic collaboration, humanitarian aid, and the execution of development projects.

Niklasson’s visit to Kabul occurs nearly two weeks before a UN-hosted meeting in Doha, where special envoys for Afghanistan from various nations are slated to participate.

EU’s office in Afghanistan has not commented about Niklasson’s meetings in Kabul.