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Taliban authorities warn UN over Afghanistan talks exclusion

DOHA: The UN chief Antonio Guterres met with world leaders for a second day on Tuesday to discuss how to deal with the Taliban commanders in Afghanistan despite warnings from Kabul that the conference would be “counter-productive.”

The United Nations is reviewing its massive assistance effort in Afghanistan as a result of a restriction on women working for UN organizations, which is why Guterres called the two days of discussions in Doha.

Women’s organizations had anticipated that the Doha gathering may suggest measures towards recognition of the Taliban regime that returned to power in August 2021. Women are already prohibited from practically all secondary and university education as well as most government positions.

Last week, the UN Security Council unanimously denounced the treatment of Afghan women, which, according to the UN, has put its population-assistance efforts in grave jeopardy.

The Security Council’s call to lift the ban has been denied by the Taliban authorities, who were not invited to the UN meeting because it would meddle with “internal social matters.”

It has also expressed concern about being left out of the Doha negotiations, which are being attended by representatives from 20 other nations and organizations, including significant European donors and neighbors like Pakistan, as well as the United States, Russia, and China.

According to Suhail Shaheen, head of the Taliban political office in Doha, “Any meeting without the participation of IEA (Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan) representatives the main party to the issue is unproductive and even occasionally counter-productive.”

“How can a decision made at such meetings be deemed appropriate or carried out when we are not involved in the process? It is unfair and discriminatory, according to Shaheen.

The Taliban government’s recognition “is not up for discussion” at the negotiations, according to UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, who made the statement on Monday.

According to Djurric, the meeting’s topics would include women’s rights, government in Afghanistan, and methods to combat terrorism and drug trafficking.

According to Guterres, “the international community must come to a consensus on how to engage with the Taliban on these issues”.

On Friday, the UN is expected to wrap up its evaluation of its operations in Afghanistan. The international organization claims it must make a “appalling choice” over its future in the nation.

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