Ambassador Durrani to take part in Doha talks on Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Friday said Pakistan will participate in the upcoming meeting of special envoys on Afghanistan.

The meeting being held from Feb 18 to 19 in Qatar capital Doha has been convened by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for deliberating on the approaches to international engagement with Taliban administration.

Pakistan’s Special Representative on Afghanistan Amb Asif Durrani will lead the country’s delegation.

The FO said that Pakistan’s participation in the conference would show its commitment to actively engaging with the international community, including the United Nations, to support efforts towards achieving lasting peace and prosperity in Afghanistan.

Pakistan’s participation would further underscore Islamabad’s desire for playing a constructive role in the international discourse on Afghanistan, emphasising the importance of collaborative efforts to address the complex challenges facing the region.

The upcoming conference has garnered significant attention.

The UN has expressed its desire for Taliban representatives to attend the two-day conference that is being seen as a key step towards engaging with the current Afghan leadership.

Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi has indicated Taliban’s willingness to participate in the meeting. He has, however, emphasised the condition of its delegates being recognised as the official representatives of Afghanistan.

The conference would offer a platform for special envoys to engage collectively with Afghan stakeholders, including representatives of the de facto authorities and Afghan civil society, notably women.

This conference marks the second UN-organised gathering on Afghanistan in less than a year, with the previous session in May 2023 not including the Taliban.

The agenda includes discussing the potential appointment of a UN envoy for Afghanistan, a proposition recommended in an independent UN assessment and supported by the United States and European allies for coordinating international engagement with the Taliban leadership in Kabul.

However, the appointment of a UN envoy faces opposition from the de facto Afghan authorities.

In a UN Security Council vote held in December 2023 concerning a resolution to empower the secretary-general to nominate a special envoy for Afghanistan, China and Russia chose not to participate, opting instead to abstain.

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