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Taliban intends to send delegation to Doha meeting on Afghanistan

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The Taliban government on Sunday officially announced its intention to send a delegation to the upcoming Doha meeting on the situation in Afghanistan.

Taliban chief spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told TOLOnews that the group believes their participation in the Qatar talks will benefit Afghanistan when it comes to humanitarian aid and investment.

Meanwhile, the Taliban foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi clarified that the Taliban has agreed in principle to participate in the upcoming Doha meeting after reviewing the agenda and attendee list shared by the UN during discussions over the past two months.

However, Balkhi stated that their participation is conditional. If there are any changes to the agenda or attendees, the Taliban will reconsider their decision and inform all parties involved, he added.

The UN-hosted meeting will be held on June 30 and July 1, with the aim of increasing international engagement with the country as it faces a series of crises.

Since returning to power in 2021, the Taliban have rejected calls for the formation of an inclusive government and to ensure women’s rights to education and work.

As a result, no country has recognized their government. The country’s banking reserves are frozen in the West, and senior Taliban leaders are on US wanted lists.

But the UN Security Council eased travel restrictions for key Taliban leaders so they could perform the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca. Additionally, last week the European Union announced a €150 million ($160 million) humanitarian aid package to the country.

The Taliban has been seeking more cooperation with the UN – while also rejecting the world body’s initiatives.

In December, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution asking the UN secretary-general to appoint a special envoy for Afghanistan. The Taliban has consistently been against having such a figure for the country.

In February, the Taliban refused to attend a similar UN meeting in Doha on account that Afghan activists had been invited.

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