KABUL – The Taliban warned on Tuesday that settling difficulties in Afghanistan would be impossible if they did not attend a UN-led summit on the nation in Qatar.
On Monday, envoys from the United States, China, Saudi Arabia, and other countries convened in Doha for two days of closed-door discussions on Afghanistan hosted by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
The discussion is aimed at “achieving a common understanding within the international community on how to engage with the Taliban” on a variety of subjects, including women’s and girls’ rights, according to the UN.
Suhail Shaheen, the Taliban’s designated UN ambassador, told Arab News that “now, when there is no more representative of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan to present their views and to present the position of Afghanistan, it will be difficult to resolve issues that are palatable and acceptable to all sides.”
He went on to say that the absence of the Taliban was one of the meeting’s “shortcomings.”
“The delegation of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan should be invited in order to seek a true solution for issues,” he stated.
“However, when our delegation is not present, instead of resolving the issue, it creates or widens the gap between the two sides.”
“Right now, we do not know exactly what the demands are.”
The Taliban was eager to “positive interactions” with the international community, according to its deputy spokesman Bilal Karimi, who added that the US “puts pressure” on countries and prohibits them from engaging in “formal and open engagement” with the Afghan government.
Since taking over Afghanistan in 2021, the Taliban regime has implemented growing restrictions on women, including prohibiting them from working for the UN and limiting educational possibilities for females.
Previously, the Taliban stated that the ban on Afghan women working for the UN was a “internal issue” that would not impede the global organization’s operations. The UN said it was confronted with a “appalling choice” about whether to continue its mission in the country in the face of widespread opposition and calls to rescind its decisions.
Following the ban on Afghan women workers, which is expected to last until May 5, the UN launched a review of its operations in Afghanistan last month.