India, Pakistan, China, Iran, Russia participate in Kabul-hosted conference

The meeting of the special representatives and ambassadors of various countries in Kabul hosted meeting. [Photo: X/ HafizZiaAhmad]

Taliban urge countries to respect governance of Afghanistan

Taliban seeks regional support, particularly from Russia and China, ahead of the UN chief’s meeting in Doha to address the lifting of sanctions

India, Pakistan, China, Iran, Russia and representatives from six other countries participated in a Kabul-hosted regional conference on Monday.

Representatives and ambassadors from 11 nations attended the meeting, including India, China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Indonesia, and Kyrgyzstan.

The head of India’s technical mission in Kabul represented the country at the conference, The Print reported quoted sources in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

Afghanistan’s acting deputy spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hafiz Zia Ahmad, quoted India’s representative as emphasising New Delhi’s active role in international and regional initiatives concerning Afghanistan, supporting stability and development in the Central Asian nation.

Despite not officially recognising the Taliban regime, India has maintained a “technical mission” in Kabul since June 2022. Last March, Taliban officials participated in an online training course organised under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC), operating under the MEA.

The Kabul meeting precedes a UN-organized conference on Afghanistan scheduled for February 18-19 in Doha, Qatar. The UN Secretary-General typically chairs this meeting, and the Taliban was not invited to last year’s conference.

Raj Kumar Sharma, a senior research fellow at the Delhi-based think tank NatStrat, highlighted the strategic timing of the Kabul meeting, suggesting that the Taliban seeks regional support, particularly from Russia and China, ahead of the UN chief’s meeting in Doha to address the lifting of sanctions.

During the meeting in Kabul, Afghanistan’s acting foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, advocated for building a positive engagement narrative, enhancing regional economic development through improved connectivity, and calling for the removal of Western sanctions on the Taliban regime.

The Afghan official expressed hope for regional consensus through ongoing mechanisms, such as the ministerial meeting of Afghanistan’s neighboring countries or the Moscow format. Indonesia’s representative also urged that the Taliban-ruled Islamic Emirate actively engage with the international community.

Following the Taliban’s assumption of power in Afghanistan in August 2021, subsequent to the withdrawal of US troops, Washington and several Western powers imposed economic and travel sanctions on Taliban officials.

Click to comment
To Top