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Taliban Foreign Minister to Travel to Islamabad to Meet Counterparts from Pakistan, China

Taliban Foreign Minister to Travel to Islamabad to Meet Counterparts from Pakistan, China


Last Updated: May 02, 2023, 10:56 IST

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan, Amir Khan Muttaqi (C) arrives to attend an inauguration ceremony of a 5000 bed rehabilitation camp for drug addicts, at the interior ministry in Kabul on February 1, 2023. (AFP)

Taliban’s foreign minister Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi has been subjected to a travel ban, asset freeze and arms embargo under Security Council sanctions

A United Nations Security Council committee has allowed the Taliban’s foreign minister Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaqi to travel to Pakistan this week to meet with Pakistani and Chinese counterparts.

The development comes after Pakistan’s UN mission requested an exemption for Muttaqi to travel between May 6 and 9 “for a meeting with the foreign ministers of Pakistan and China”, according to an Al Jazeera report.

The Afghan foreign minister is expected to meet Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. It is not yet clear what the two ministers would discuss.

Afghanistan’s foreign ministry had so far not commented on Muttaqi’s trip. Reports said Pakistan would cover all costs associated with the trip.

Muttaqi has been subjected to a travel ban, asset freeze and arms embargo under Security Council sanctions.

Last month, the UN Security Council committee had agreed to allow Muttaqi to travel to Uzbekistan for a meeting of the foreign ministers of neighbouring countries of Afghanistan to discuss security and stability matters.

Chinese and Pakistani officials have both said in the past that they would welcome Taliban-led Afghanistan into the multibillion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) infrastructure project, part of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Meanwhile, envoys from the United States, Russia, China and 20 other countries and organisations met in Qatar on Monday for talks on Afghanistan focusing on women’s rights under the Taliban administration.

The countries taking part include China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Norway, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Britain, the United States, Uzbekistan, the European Union and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

However, Taliban authorities were not invited to attend the closed-door two-day meeting in Doha, UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said.

Afghanistan sits as a key geographical trade and transit route between South and Central Asia and has billions of dollars of untapped mineral resources. The Taliban seized power in August 2021 as US-led forces withdrew after 20 years of war.

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