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UN Chief Guterres to lead crucial Afghanistan summit in Doha

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KABUL – In a pivotal move to address the pressing issues in Afghanistan, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres is set to spearhead a high-level summit in Doha next week. The meeting, slated for February 18-19, will convene key stakeholders and special representatives on Afghanistan, as disclosed by Zamir Kabulov, the Russian special envoy for Afghanistan and director of the Foreign Ministry’s Second Asian Department.

With global attention focused on the region, Kabulov underscored Russia’s commitment to guiding participating nations towards constructive engagement during the discussions. The agenda is poised to encompass a spectrum of concerns, ranging from political dynamics to societal challenges, with Afghan politicians, civil society representatives, and academics poised to contribute to the dialogue.

Crucially, the Taliban’s foreign ministry has confirmed their invitation to the gathering, signaling a potential avenue for inclusive dialogue amid ongoing efforts to stabilize the nation. This initiative follows in the wake of a previous meeting held in Doha in May 2023, where Guterres appointed Feridun H. Sinirlioğlu as a special coordinator to assess the Afghan landscape.

The assessment, subsequently presented to the UN Security Council, underscored the imperative of upholding the rights of women and girls and fostering intra-Afghan dialogue as cornerstones of sustainable peace and development.

Amidst anticipation for further diplomatic engagements, Kabulov hinted at the prospect of a Moscow-format meeting on Afghanistan, alluding to its customary occurrence in the autumn months. Notably, while the Taliban have participated in previous Moscow Format gatherings as guests, specifics regarding the forthcoming meeting’s location remain undisclosed.

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