UN chief to lead Afghanistan meeting in Doha next week

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres will chair a meeting with special representatives on Afghanistan Feb. 18-19 in Doha, according to Zamir Kabulov, Russian special envoy for Afghanistan.

Kabulov, also director of the Foreign Ministry’s Second Asian Department, confirmed his participation in the meeting during an interview with Russian State News Agency TASS.

He indicated that Russia aims to guide its partners toward appropriate conduct at the meeting. Afghan politicians, civil society members, and academics are also expected to attend.

The Taliban’s foreign ministry said they have been invited to the meeting.

This follows a similar gathering in Doha in May 2023. After that, Guterres appointed Feridun H. Sinirlioğlu as special coordinator to assess the Afghan situation. The assessment, presented to the UN Security Council, emphasized the need for women and girls’ rights and intra-Afghan dialogue.

When asked about a Moscow-format meeting on Afghanistan, Kabulov said it is “on the horizon,” noting such events are annual, typically occurring in the fall.

The Taliban previously attended the Moscow Format as guests. Kabulov did not provide further details about the upcoming meeting’s location.