A glance at first day of Doha meeting on Afghanistan

DOHA, Qatar — The Doha meeting on Afghanistan commenced on Sunday at the Four Seasons Hotel, led by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and attended by special envoys. Sources informed Amu that the main discussions are set for Monday.

Guterres, alongside approximately 25 special envoys, is stationed at the venue for the duration of the meeting, aimed at addressing the crisis in Afghanistan.

Iran’s special envoy for Afghanistan, Hassan Kazemi Qomi, expressed optimism about the meeting’s potential impact. “Iran will support any initiatives which are organized and help the security and solidarity of the people of Afghanistan,” he stated.

The two-day event includes four meetings. Monday’s agenda begins at 09:00 am (Doha time) with remarks from the UN Secretary-General, followed by a 15:30 meeting between special envoys and Afghan civil society representatives.

A scheduled 17:30 meeting with the Taliban delegation was canceled following their refusal to participate. The day’s schedule includes:

  • Special envoys of countries and organizations meeting.
  • Working meeting among special envoys.
  • Remarks by the UN Secretary-General.
  • Meeting between special envoys and Afghan civil society representatives.
  • Canceled meeting with the Taliban delegation.

Former interior minister Mohammad Omar Daudzai criticized the Taliban’s stance. “The Taliban wanted the UN to treat them [Taliban] as the sole responsible representative of Afghanistan but this was too early… they [Taliban] have not been recognized by any world country. Even the primary steps have not been taken in this regard,” he commented. “But they [Taliban] consider themselves a responsible government and claim they are a responsible government. They cannot be a responsible government.”

Civil rights advocate Mahbouba Seraj remains hopeful about the meeting’s outcomes. The main topics include appointing a UN special envoy and forming an international consensus on Afghanistan.

Naseer Ahmad Faiq, Chargé d’Affaires of the Afghanistan Permanent Mission to the UN, expressed hope for the conference’s role in initiating dialogues at national, regional, and international levels. “I hope that this conference will be an initiative of negotiations at international level, regional and national level that can pave the ground for formation of a responsible government, which will be obliged to fulfill the values of the UN convention,” he said.

The Doha meeting’s participants are expected to decide on a UN special envoy for Afghanistan and discuss the roadmap for the country’s political future.