Political parties, movements object to Taliban’s Doha meeting invitation

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A coalition of 15 political parties and movements from Afghanistan in a joint statement appreciated the UN’s efforts for Afghanistan, including the Doha meeting, but expressed opposition to the Taliban’s invitation to the summit.

They argue that the Taliban “cannot represent” Afghanistan and claim that extending an invitation legitimizes the Taliban’s “violent” actions.

The statement accuses both internal and international parties of conspiring to “hand over” Afghanistan to the Taliban, leading to a “repressive and illegal” takeover.

Accusing the Taliban of usurping political sovereignty through “violence and coercion,” the statement criticizes the group for repressing dissent and failing to meet the international community’s demands and principles.

The statement added the political parties and the movements “appreciate the United Nations’ efforts and the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 2721 to appoint a special envoy for Afghanistan, placing it under the organization’s attention, while maintaining our reservations regarding the independent UN assessment on Afghanistan’s situation, and hoping for conditions conducive to share it with the UN soon.”

“We consider the legitimate political, security and economic interaction of regional and world countries with Afghanistan as a requirement for regional and global peace and security,” the statement said. “Therefore, with regard to popular and international legitimacy, we emphasize that the condition of the success of this meeting is to consider the people’s wishes, the cooperation of effective political currents and interested parties, and to avoid any kind of political-diplomatic interaction with the Taliban group in the absence of Afghanistan’s people.”

“We are still committed to fully cooperating with the United Nations Special Envoy with the mission of helping to change the situation by using an inclusive national process, the results of which will lead to a change in the situation,” said the statement.

“Considering the increasing absolute poverty in Afghanistan, the continuation of humanitarian cooperation to the people of Afghanistan is a vital matter,” said the statement.

The parties and movements added that the attention of the United Nations and other aid agencies to carefully separate humanitarian cooperation for Afghanistan’s people, from helping the Taliban is a necessary and legitimate demand of the Afghanistan’s people.

The statement comes as Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, in a meeting with the Russian ambassador, stated the group’s conditional participation in the Doha meeting.

The Doha meeting, expected to be hosted by the UN on Feb. 18-19, will convene special envoys on Afghanistan.

Taliban has said that their participation in the meeting is based on conditions, including a “meaningful involvement”.

The parties and movements include the Afghanistan Freedom Front, Afghanistan’s Women Protest Movements, Hizbe Wahdat, National Resistance Council, Islamic Party of Afghanistan, Islamic Society Party of Afghanistan, Islamic National Movement Party of Afghanistan, Islamic Dawah Organisation of Afghanistan, People’s Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan, Justice and Freedom Party of Afghanistan, National Resistance Front of Afghanistan, Loya Kandahar Council, Loya Mashriqi Council, The Great Shamali Council, The Protecting Council of the Values of Jihad and Resistance of the People of Afghanistan, and Solidarity Party of Afghanistan.