Fri, 22 Oct 2021

The Taliban says two high-ranking Kyrgyz officials have traveled to Kabul for talks with the group's leadership, the most-senior Central Asian delegation to meet with the militants since they seized power in mid-August.

The acting foreign minister in the Taliban-led government, Amir Khan Muttaqi, met with the deputy chairman of Kyrgyzstan's Security Council, Taalatbek Masadykov, and the head of the Foreign Policy Department of the Kyrgyz presidential administration, Jeenbek Kulubaev, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted on September 23.

There was no immediate comment from Kyrgyz officials.

Muttaqi 'welcomed them and thanked them for their assistance. He also stressed the need for continued cooperation and assistances,' Mujahid wrote, adding that the emphasis of the meeting was 'bilateral relations and continued cooperation.'

The Taliban spokesman also posted photos of the meeting.

The meeting comes as the international community faces a growing dilemma over whether to recognize the Taliban as the rulers of Afghanistan following the hard-line Islamist group's takeover.

World powers have opened up channels of communication with the group but made clear this does not mean recognition, which would allow its officials to represent the country in international organizations and funds to be unblocked for Afghanistan as the war-torn country faces a looming economic crisis and humanitarian disaster.

On September 21, the acting head of Afghanistan's Taliban-led government, Mullah Muhammad Hassan Akhund, met in Kabul with representatives from Russia, China, and Pakistan.

Meanwhile, Central Asian states bordering Afghanistan have been concerned about security threats emanating from the country and the potential for tens of thousands of refugees to pour over the border.

The Taliban has sought to reassure neighboring countries that it poses no threat since gaining control over almost all of Afghanistan's territory following a lightning offensive at the end of the 20-year U.S.-led military presence.

Earlier this week, the president of neighboring Uzbekistan told the UN General Assembly in New York that the Central Asian country has resumed the supply of oil and electricity to Afghanistan.

"It is impossible to isolate Afghanistan and leave it within the range of its problems," Shavkat Mirziyoev said.

The Taliban has asked to address world leaders at this week's UN General Assembly meeting in New York City and said it was nominating a new UN permanent representative, Mohammad Suhail Shaheen.

The UN Secretariat said it has forwarded the request to the credentials committee for consideration.

Afghanistan is scheduled to give the last speech on the final day of the UN General Assembly meeting on September 27. It wasn't clear who would speak if the UN credentials committee were to give the Taliban Afghanistan's seat.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Washington DC 20036

More Southeast Asia News

Access More

Sign up for Southeast Asia News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!