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Afghanistan ‘very difficult dilemma’ to deal with warns Swiss representative to the UN

The Swiss Permanent Representative to the UN, Pascale Baeriswyl, said on Monday that the situation in Afghanistan under the Taliban a “very difficult dilemma” to deal with, as she took over the UN Security Council’s Presidency.

“We do not have the magic solution to that. I really hope that the Doha meeting leads to a discussion of how to handle the situation.” the Representative told reporters at the UN headquarters, referring to the May 1-2 Doha meeting convened by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Afghanistan.

While emphasizing the role of the Council on Afghanistan, Baeriswyl also noted that it “has been able three times to adopt a resolution” on Afghanistan, but should “wait for the coming days or weeks” to see what the “Doha meeting brings and what the following actions may be.”

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With the Taliban not being invited to the ongoing Doha gathering, key representatives from 25 countries have attended the UN-led closed-door meeting that seeks to achieve a common understanding within the international community on how to engage with and put international pressure on the de-fact Taliban authorities in Afghanistan.

The Doha meeting has entered its last day today amid the widespread backlash from rights and political activists and protests in and outside Afghanistan triggered by the previous remarks of UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed on finding “baby steps” to the “recognition of the Taliban”. 

However, the Secretary-General’s Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric previously emphasized that the Doha agenda does not include recognizing the Taliban leadership, rather it engages in key issues of human rights, particularly women’s and girl’s rights, inclusive governance, counter-terrorism, and drug trafficking.

“Recognition is not up for discussion at this meeting,” the Spokesperson mentioned. “We’re not in the business of ensuring anything. We’re in the business of being determined and of continuing to work in trying to coordinate the actions of the international community for singularity of purpose, for the sake of the people of Afghanistan, notably for women and girls in Afghanistan.”