Taliban’s conditions to attend UN meeting ‘unacceptable’, Guterres says

Taliban snubs an invitation to a two-day meeting of international envoys to Afghanistan in Doha.

The Taliban has set unacceptable conditions for attending a United Nations-sponsored meeting about Afghanistan in the Qatari capital, Doha, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says.

“I received a letter [from the Taliban] with a set of conditions to be present in this meeting that were not acceptable,” Guterres said at a news conference on Monday.

“These conditions denied us the right to talk to other representatives of Afghan society and demanded a treatment that would, to a large extent, be similar to recognition,” the UN chief added.

The two-day meeting which ended on Monday in Doha brought together member states and international envoys to Afghanistan to discuss an array of issues facing the country. But the Taliban didn’t attend because its demands were not met.

The Taliban took over Kabul in August 2021 after United States and NATO forces withdrew following two decades of war.

However, no country recognises it as Afghanistan’s government, and the UN has said that recognition is almost impossible while bans on female education and employment remain in place.

The biggest point of contention between the international community and the Taliban are the bans imposed on women and girls.

Since it retook power, it has ordered women to cover up when leaving home, stopped girls and women from attending high school and university, and banned them from parks, gyms and public baths.