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Roza Otunbayeva to hold negotiations with Taliban leaders in Kabul

Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Afghanistan and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) Roza Otunbayeva will travel to Kabul for talks on possible international recognition of the interim government of Afghanistan formed by the radical Taliban movement. The Express Tribune reports, citing its own sources.

According to it, Rosa Otunbayeva’s trip will be a step towards establishing a dialogue with the Kabul authorities after the conference held in Doha in February under the auspices of the UN. At the conference, representatives of 25 countries, including Pakistan, discussed a roadmap for interaction with Afghanistan.

The conference in the Qatari capital sent a clear message to the Taliban that any international recognition would require the authorities in Kabul to meet key conditions such as preventing the use of Afghan territory for terrorist activities, establishing an inclusive government in the country and respecting human rights, especially of women and girls, the media outlet reported.

The Afghan Taliban refused to attend the Doha meeting, expressing disagreement with both the invitation to the conference of Afghan activists who do not support them, and with its agenda. The absence at the meeting of the delegation led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the interim Afghan government, Amir Khan Mottaqi, did not allow its participants to approve the proposal of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to appoint a special envoy of the organization for Afghanistan in addition to the already existing post of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative in this country, which is held by the former president of Kyrgyzstan Roza Otunbayeva.

António Guterres told reporters in Doha that approval of the proposal to appoint a UN special envoy for Afghanistan, tasked with coordinating the Taliban’s engagement with the international community and promoting inter-Afghan dialogue, would be reached later, after consultations with stakeholders and Afghan authorities. Kabul had previously expressed strong disagreement with the appointment of a UN special envoy, arguing that «the new special envoy could impose decisions that are unacceptable for Afghanistan.»

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