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Taliban to be invited to high-level meeting of Afghan neighbours

Former Taliban minister Amir Khan Muttaqi arrives to the signing of a US-Taliban agreement in the Qatari capital Doha on February 29, 2020. - Washington and the Taliban are set to sign a landmark deal in Doha that would see them agree to the withdrawal of thousands of US troops from Afghanistan in return for insurgent guarantees. (Photo by KARIM JAAFAR / AFP) (Photo by KARIM JAAFAR/AFP via Getty Images)

Pakistani Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday said the Afghan cabinet appointed by the Taliban would be invited to attend the third ministerial meeting of Afghanistan’s neighbouring states.

The platform, which is set up to discuss the situation in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover, includes Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan Turkmenistan, Russia, China, and Pakistan.

Pakistan hosted the first-ever meeting of the format on September 8, and the second meeting was held in Iran on Oct. 27.

The Taliban-backed government did not participate in either of them as it was not internationally recognised.

According to Qureshi “Afghanistan’s interim government would also be invited to the next meeting of Afghanistan’s neighbours.’’

While the specific date for the event is yet to be unveiled, it is expected to be held in China early next year.

In mid-August, the Taliban entered Kabul following several weeks of making military gains that coincided with the withdrawal of foreign troops.

As international troops withdrew from the country and foreign evacuations came to a close, the Taliban announced the composition of an all-male interim cabinet.

It was headed by Mohammad Hasan Akhund, a foreign minister, during the previous Taliban rule.

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