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Consensus reached over Afghanistan issue despite Taliban's absense: UN chief

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-02-20 09:25

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks to journalists on the sidelines of a summit on Afghanistan in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Feb 19, 2024. [Photo/VCG]

DOHA - United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Monday that international representatives have reached consensus on some key issues concerning Afghanistan after a two-day meeting in Doha, but obstacles remain.

"We want an Afghanistan in peace, peace with itself and peace with its neighbours and able to assume the commitments and the international obligations of a sovereign state," Guterres said at a press conference after the meeting.

However, Guterres pointed out that overcoming some obstacles is still necessary to break the deadlock on the Afghanistan issue.

On the one hand, "Afghanistan remains with a government that is not recognized internationally and in many aspects not integrated into the global institutions and global economy," he said.

On the other hand, there is a common international perception of deteriorating human rights, particularly for women and girls in the country, Guterres said.

Guterres stated that a common road map must be developed to address the concerns of the international community and the Afghan authorities.

The meeting, chaired by Guterres, was attended by representatives from more than 20 countries and international organizations including China, Russia, and the United States. Taliban, the de facto authorities in Afghanistan, did not attend.

According to the UN chief, the conditions set by Taliban authorities to attend the meeting were "not acceptable".

"These conditions first of all denied us the right to talk to other representatives of the Afghan society and demanded a treatment that would, to a large extent, be similar to recognition," Guterres said.

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