UN chief set to begin closed-door meeting on Afghanistan in Doha

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres is hosting a two-day closed-door meeting on Afghanistan in Doha, Qatar, on Afghanistan. He has brought together special envoys and country representatives engaged in Afghanistan, including the US, China, Russia, Iran and Pakistan.

The Taliban has not been invited to the meeting. Although, according a source, the group’s foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, will be in Doha on the invitation of the Qatari government.

“The meeting is intended to achieve a common understanding within the international community on how to engage with the Taliban on these issues,” the UN said on Sunday.

| Taliban rejects UN Security Councils’ call to lift restrictions on women
| KabulNow Editorial: The UN cannot help the people of Afghanistan without repairing its tarnished reputation

The international community has been divided on how to engage with the Taliban since the group’s return to power in August 2021. No country has recognised the Taliban government, but some countries, including Russia, China, Iran, and Pakistan have kept close direct engagements with the group.

The Doha meeting comes amid growing concerns among many inside and outside Afghanistan about the UN’s role in the country and its engagement with the Taliban.

The UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed’s remarks that the meeting could find “baby steps” to recognising the Taliban government caused a backlash and were widely condemned.