Amir Khan Muttaqi, the foreign minister for the Taliban government, will be permitted to travel from Afghanistan to Pakistan the following week to meet with the foreign ministers of Pakistan and China, according to diplomats. This decision was made by a committee of the UN Security Council on Monday.
Long-standing Security Council sanctions against Muttaqi include a travel ban, an asset freeze, and an arms embargo.
Pakistan’s UN mission requested an exemption for Muttaqi, who was scheduled to travel between May 6 and 9, “for a meeting with the foreign ministers of Pakistan and China,” according to a letter to the 15 members of the Security Council from the Taliban sanctions committee. What the ministers would talk about was not specified. It stated that Pakistan would pay for all expenses related to Muttaqi’s journey.
As part of the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) infrastructure project, which is a component of the Belt and Road Initiative, Chinese and Pakistani officials have both previously stated that they would welcome a Taliban-led Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is strategically situated on a trade and transit corridor connecting South and Central Asia, and it has untapped natural resources worth billions of dollars. After 20 years of fighting, the Taliban took command in August 2021 after US-led forces withdrew.
A meeting of the foreign ministers of Afghanistan’s neighbours took place in Uzbekistan last month, and Muttaqi was given permission by the Security Council committee to attend. Critical concerns of stability, security, and peace were the focus of the summit.
A two-day conference with special Afghan envoys from various nations was started by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday in Doha. The meeting’s goal is “to achieve a common understanding within the international community on how to engage with the Taliban,” according to UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.
Dujarric stated that important topics would be covered in the behind-closed-doors conference, including terrorism prevention, inclusive governance, women’s and girls’ rights, and drug trafficking.
Participants include Britain, the United States, Uzbekistan, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Norway, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
To the Doha meeting, the Taliban government was not invited.