Turkish diplomat appointed as the UN Special Coordinator for Afghanistan

The UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, has appointed the Turkish diplomat, Feridun Sinirlioğlu, as the United Nations’ Special Coordinator for Afghanistan.

On a statement on Tuesday, the UN said that Sinirlioğlu had been appointed as “the Special Coordinator, Independent Assessment Mandated by Security Council Resolution 2679 (2023).”

António Guterres has asked Sinirlioğlu to “an lead the independent assessment with a view to providing recommendations for an integrated and coherent approach to address the current challenges faced by Afghanistan.” The UN says.

Sinirlioğlu has previously served as Turkish Foreign Minister from 2015 to 2016 and Permanent Representative to the UN from 2016 to 2023.

António Guterres is to hold a closed-door meeting in Doha on May 1-2, which according to Reuters, will be attended by envoys on Afghanistan from various countries to work on a “unified approach to dealing with the Taliban”.

The UN Deputy Secretary General, Amina Mohammed, faced a fierce backlash from many for suggesting that the meeting would discuss the possibility of recognising the Taliban.