Taliban delegation visits Indonesia with hopes to strengthen ties amid recognition struggles

A Taliban delegation visited Indonesia this month in an attempt to improve relations between the group and the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

According to Nikkei Asia the “midlevel delegation”, who also visited Malaysia, sought to normalise relations and court foreign investment in Afghanistan to shore up its ailing economy.

Almost two years since retaking control of Afghanistan, no country, including Indonesia, has recognised the Taliban’s government.

An Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesperson confirmed the Taliban’s visit to Jakarta for “internal activities with their missions”. The delegation did not meet anyone from Indonesian foreign ministry, the spokesperson said.

Afghanistan’s economy collapsed following the Taliban’s return to power in August 2021, plunging the country into the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. According over 28 million people in the country are dependent on aid, the delivery of which have been come more difficult by the group’s restrictions on women’s rights to work and education.

According to Nikkei Asia, the Taliban delegation’s visit to Indonesia is part of a broader effort by the group to reach out to Muslim countries. The Taliban believes that these countries can be persuaded to support the group’s efforts to gain international recognition.

However, it is unclear how successful the Taliban’s outreach will be. Some Muslim countries, such as Indonesia, have expressed concerns about the Taliban’s human rights record.

The Taliban’s delegation to Indonesia was met with mixed reactions. Some Indonesians welcomed the delegation, while others expressed concern about the Taliban’s intentions, Nikkei Asia reports.