Taliban sends its first delegation to a UN-led meeting in Qatar on Afghanistan

The Taliban government, which has imposed severe restrictions on women since seizing power in 2021 that the UN has described as a system of "gender apartheid", will send its first delegation to the third round of talks on the Afghan crisis starting in Qatar on Sunday.

A Taliban delegation on Sunday attended a United Nations-led meeting in Qatar on Afghanistan after organizers said women would be excluded from the gathering.

The two-day meeting is the third U.N.-sponsored gathering on the Afghan crisis in the Qatari capital of Doha.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the chief spokesman for the Taliban government who leads its delegation, wrote on social media platform X that the delegation met with representatives from countries including Russia, India and Uzbekistan on the sidelines of the meeting.

The Taliban were not invited to the first meeting, and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said they set unacceptable conditions for attending the second one in February, including demands that Afghan civil society members be excluded from the talks and that the Taliban be treated as the country’s legitimate rulers.

Mujahid on Saturday in the capital, Kabul, told reporters the delegation was going to Doha “to seek understanding and resolve issues."


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