Photo: Abdul Qahar Balkhi via Twitter

UN Special Coordinator meets senior Taliban officials in Kabul

UN Special Coordinator for the assessment of the Afghanistan situation, Feridun Sinirlioğlu, held a meeting with the Taliban’s foreign minister and interior minister during his visit to Afghanistan, to discuss women’s rights, security and the group’s relations with the world.

Abdul Qahar Balkhi, the spokesman of the Taliban’s foreign ministry, tweeted on Thursday that Amir Khan Muttaqi, the Taliban’s foreign minister, has expressed optimism in the meeting that Sinirlioğlu’s extensive experience would bridge the gap between the Taliban government and the international community by highlighting their achievements.

Taliban’s foreign minister reportedly told the UN diplomat: “In the past years, the problem was that foreign reporters could not understand the sensitivities of our country, but now there is hope based on your extensive experience, you will be able to bring the Afghan government and the international community closer by reflecting our achievements and the demands of our people.”

The spokesperson of the Taliban’s foreign ministry has quoted Sinirlioğlu as saying that, “Since I have been appointed as an Independent Assessor of the UN during which I have held talks with various member countries, and I feel that the international community is eager to improve engagement with the Islamic Emirate.”

According to Balkhi, Sinirlioğlu has said that the war has ended, peace and stability have returned, corruption has ended, and important achievements have been made, especially in the field of security.

“With its strategic location, Afghanistan can play an important role in the implementation of major regional projects, therefore, stability in Afghanistan is vital and no one seeks conflict.” Balkhi quoted the UN special coordinator.

Muttaqi has further emphasized that the previous killings and oppression are replaced with peace and stability, the Islamic rights of women are ensured, and the environment for the implementation of projects is prepared.

The Taliban’s Ministry of Interior has also announced the meeting between the group’s interior minister, Sirajuddin Haqqani, and the UN Special Coordinator on Thursday.

During the meeting, Sinirlioğlu has reportedly conveyed the international community’s desire for positive relations with Afghanistan. He is quoted: “After the last 40 years, security has been strengthened, and progress has been made in the fight against corruption and drugs. There should be coordination between Afghanistan and the world in the fight against drug trafficking and terrorism.”

The UN Special Coordinator has further called human rights the fundamental rights of all people and said that the concerns of the United Nations should be taken into account.

Regarding the global engagement levels, Sirajuddin Haqqani highlighted that, “Currently, the world’s interaction with Afghanistan is under the shadow of the last 20 years of occupation, and in a way, it is the continuation of the politics of that era, which we do not consider useful. The Islamic Emirate has made every effort to eliminate narcotics and has fulfilled its responsibility; the international community should also play its responsibility.”

The Taliban’s Interior Minister has claimed that the security situation of the country is currently reliable and the efforts of the “enemies” have failed. He said: “Daesh (ISIS) fighters do not exist openly in Afghanistan; they may have limited intellectual supporters, but it is nothing to worry about.”