India participates in Taliban’s regional conference in Kabul

In the case of India, New Delhi has a ‘technical’ team in Kabul, whose head, Rambabu Chellappa, participated in the session…reports Asian Lite News

India on Monday participated in a ‘regional conference’ organised by the Taliban government in the run-up to next month’s UN-convened meeting on Afghanistan. This was the first such programme convened in the Afghanistan capital.

Dubbed Afghanistan’s ‘Regional Cooperation Initiative,’ the meeting was chaired by Taliban’s foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi and attended by special envoys from Russia and China as well.

Besides, the resident diplomats from India, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan took part in the meeting.

As the Taliban government has yet to receive formal international recognition, the diplomats present at the meeting were not designated as ‘ambassadors’ but rather ‘chief d’affairs.’

In the case of India, New Delhi has a ‘technical’ team in Kabul, whose head, Rambabu Chellappa, participated in the session.

According to a post on X (formerly Twitter) by the foreign ministry spokesperson, the India representative said that it actively took part in international and regional intiatives and “supports every effort leading to the stability and the development of Afghanistan”.

The Taliban minister reiterated the opposition to an appointment of a special envoy for Afghanistan by the UN Secretary general.

Last month, the UN Security Council passed a resolution that called for appointing a UN special envoy as part of greater engagement with the war-ravaged country. Russia and China had abstained but did use their veto to stop the adoption.

“Afghanistan as country that has gone through long imposed conflicts, and has achieved peace, security, and stability – does not need another UN special representative and/or new mission with UNAMA already on the ground – but this government stands ready and has the capacity to conduct talks on common and concerning issues with different regional and international sides,” said Muttaqi.

He also urged the participating countries to “portray ground realities of today’s Afghanistan in the upcoming Doha meeting”.

“Calling the current diplomatic relations of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan with the countries of the region remarkable, FM Muttaqi stressed that regional countries should hold regional peace talks to increase and continue positive interaction with Afghanistan, adding Muttaqi asked the participants to take advantage of the emerging opportunities in Afghanistan based on a region-oriented tradition so as to coordinate in managing the potential threats,” Taliban-controlled Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release.

“Underlying on positive engagement with the countries of the region and the world, FM Muttaqi once again reiterated that there remains no need to appoint a new special representatives in the presence of UNAMA and the existence of an independent central government in Afghanistan, urging the participants to convey the message of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s region-oriented initiative to their countries so that Afghanistan and the region can jointly utilise the new opportunities in the region for the benefit of their governments and nations,” it also said.

The UN secretary General Antonio Guterres will be hosting a meeting of special envoys from regional countries and international organisations on Afghanistan at the Qatari capital Doha on February 18-19.

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