Taliban govt. representatives meet UN, Afghanistan envoys in Doha – The Hindu

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Representatives of Afghanistan’s Taliban regime began meetings on Sunday with UN officials as they attended talks in Doha with special envoys to the Central Asian country for the first time, a UN spokesperson said. The two-day, UN-hosted meeting in Qatar is the third of its kind in the gas-rich emirate in just over a year but the first to include Taliban authorities.

UN officials and over 20 envoys, including the U.S. special representative to Afghanistan, were expected to meet with the Taliban government’s delegation led by spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.

Ahead of the UN event, Taliban Foreign Ministry official Zakir Jalaly on Sunday maintained that any meetings taking place after Monday were “unrelated” to the official agenda.

The sidelining of civil society organisations has provoked outcry among the groups, including women’s rights activists. “Caving into the Taliban’s conditions to secure their participation in the talks would risk legitimising their gender-based institutionalised system of oppression,” head of Amnesty International Agnes Callamard said.

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