Antonio Guterres hopes to find ways to influence the Taliban in Doha meeting

United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, will host a meeting on Afghanistan in Doha on Monday and Tuesday, with representatives from at least 25 countries expected to attend.

According to France 24, Antonio Guterres will use the meeting in order to find ways to influence the Taliban and the way it rules Afghanistan.

The UN has said that it is facing an “appalling choice” over whether to maintain its operations in Afghanistan after the Taliban banned women working for its agencies in the country.

On Friday, the group rejected the UN Security Council’s unanimous vote condemning its restrictions on women and calling for them to lifted.

France 24 quoted Richard Gowan, UN expert for the International Crisis Group, saying that the UN is “in a trap over Afghanistan”.

“Guterres has to untangle a very complicated knot. He needs to find a way to keep aid flowing into Afghanistan, but the Taliban ban on women is a huge blow to the UN’s ability to operate in the country.

“There are lots of differences among Security Council members over Afghanistan. But everyone, including Russia and China, agrees it is better to have the UN in Kabul than not.”

Although the Taliban has not been invited to the meeting, a source familiar with the situation told KabulNow that the group’s foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, has been invited to Doha by the Qatari government.

The UN has been fiercely criticised by many after its Deputy Secretary-General said the meeting could be a venue to discuss recognising the Taliban government.