Afghan Taliban Delegation To Attend Third Round Of UN Talks In Qatar

The talks in Doha are scheduled for June 30 and July 1.

Afghan Taliban Delegation To Attend Third Round Of UN Talks In Qatar

The Taliban will attend the third session of United Nations-hosted talks on Afghanistan in the Qatari capital, a government spokesperson said, after declining an invitation to the last session. 

The Taliban government's participation in the meeting of international special envoys to Afghanistan was in doubt after being excluded from the first round of negotiations and then declining an invitation to the second round in February.

"A delegation from the Islamic Emirate will participate in the next Doha summit. Zabihullah Mujahid told AFP that they will represent Afghanistan there and voice the country's perspective. 

Women's groups have already criticized the Doha talks, which are set to take place on June 30 and July 1.

On Sunday, Mujahid informed Afghan media that a delegation, which has yet to be confirmed, would attend the talks since the topic seemed "beneficial to Afghanistan."

He stated that the agenda includes "topics such as aid for Afghanistan and creating opportunities for investors in Afghanistan, which are important."

However, foreign ministry spokesperson Abdul Qahar Balkhi warned in a social media post later on Sunday that "if there are any changes to the agenda and participation, it would naturally affect our decision" to participate. 

According to the UN, the series of discussions, launched in May 2023 by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, aim to "increase international engagement with Afghanistan in a more coherent, coordinated, and structured manner."

Civil society organizations, including women, were invited to the February discussions, but the Taliban regime refused to attend unless its members could be the exclusive representatives of Afghanistan. 

It also demanded a meeting with Guterres, who at the time stated that the participation conditions "were not acceptable."

In recent weeks, many UN representatives and international envoys have met with the Taliban administration to discuss the upcoming Doha talks, which Guterres will not attend. 

Diplomatic sources told AFP that there were plans to speak with Afghan civil society organizations before and after the next discussions, but they would not participate in meetings with Taliban leaders.

According to insiders, the official sessions were scheduled to discuss fiscal and economic matters, as well as counternarcotics measures.