Taliban reiterates opposition to UN special envoy for Afghanistan

DOHA, Qatar — Sohail Shaheen, head of the Taliban’s political office in Qatar, has reiterated the Taliban’s opposition to the appointment of a United Nations special representative for Afghanistan, citing concerns of potential “interference” in the country’s internal affairs.

In an interview with Japan’s NHK TV, Shaheen stressed that such an appointment might lead to unwelcome involvement in Afghanistan’s domestic issues and could result in decisions being imposed on the Taliban-led government.

The recommendation for a special envoy has been met with approval from various political and civil groups in Afghanistan, who expressed their support through statements and resolutions at a meeting in Doha that ended on Monday, Feb. 19.

The initiative for appointing a United Nations representative stemmed from an independent report by Fereydoun Sinirlioğlu, the UN’s special coordinator. The recommendation was approved in line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2721.

Despite its significance, the appointment of a special representative was not a primary agenda item at the Doha meeting, convened by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. The meeting, held on February 18-19, concluded without the announcement of a UN representative for Afghanistan.