Photo: Hafiz Zia Ahmad via Twitter

UK Chargé d’Affaires meets Taliban officials in Afghanistan

The UK Chargé d’Affaires for Afghanistan, Robert Chatterton Dickson, met the Taliban officials including the group’s Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi and Minister of Higher Education Neda Mohammad Nadeem in Kabul on Wednesday.

In a series of tweets, Hafiz Zia Ahmad, the Deputy Spokesman of the Taliban’s foreign ministry revealed that Muttaqi expressed appreciation for the UK’s stance of not supporting the armed opposition against the Taliban, and urged the country to engage with the group with “confidence and courage.”

Emphasizing their responsible government engagement policy, Muttaqi has called for a realistic and respectful approach towards the Taliban government, beyond media reports.

The Taliban foreign minister has further expressed optimism regarding the initiation of consular services for the citizens of Afghanistan in the UK.

According to Hafiz Zia, the UK diplomat expressed satisfaction with his visit, highlighting that the establishment of security and stability in the country after years of conflict has paved the way for advancements in trade, health, and education.

He also expressed hope for improved relations between the UK and Afghanistan.

“The Taliban’s commitment to enhancing security and stability in Afghanistan is understandable, and their measures against drug trafficking have proven effective,” stated the British diplomat.

In a separate meeting on Wednesday, the UK diplomat also engaged with the Taliban’s Minister of Higher Education, Neda Mohammad Nadeem.

According to a newsletter shared by the ministry, both sides discussed the importance of education in achieving lasting security in Afghanistan.

The Taliban minister urged the international community to support Afghanistan in the field of education.

The British diplomat has reportedly expressed the UK’s commitment to supporting the Taliban’s Ministry of Higher Education in various areas and underlined their determination to maintain regular collaboration.

However, it is important to note that the Taliban’s restrictive policies have marginalized women and girls in Afghanistan. The group has imposed prohibitions on girls attending schools, restricted women’s access to universities, and enforced over 50 edicts suppressing women’s rights.