Doha, 3 December 2021 (TDI): On 1 December, Martin Longden met with the Taliban Delegation in Doha, Qatar. Longden is the Chargé d’Affaires of the UK Mission to Afghanistan in Doha.

During this exchange, both parties engaged in constructive discourse on the matter of girls’ education and human rights in Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s interim Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi was also present during this interaction.

Longden mentioned being “in the company of like-minded colleagues”, inferring that he was accompanied by officials who possessed similar objectives. These are to persuade the Taliban in complying with global demands.

BACKGROUND ON SITUATION IN AFGHANISTAN

The current humanitarian crisis occurring in Afghanistan stems from the Taliban’s political takeover of Afghan territories. Afghan girls after the age of 12 have been prohibited from going to school for the past 75 days, earning cries and criticism from the international community.

Due to the discriminatory nature of the Taliban Government, the United States has frozen Afghan assets in the Central bank. Its persistent condition for releasing these assets continues to be that the Taliban ensure human rights, a diverse, representative government as well as cut down on terrorist activities. Afghanistan has suffered a major economic blow from this decision, accelerating conditions of poverty and famine.

LONGDEN’S EXCHANGES

In Longden’s exchange with the Taliban, the primary topics of discussion were girls’ education, terrorism, and human rights. The two parties discussed possible negotiations and ways to combat these social issues.

Longden continued to press the notion that Afghan girls be permitted to continue their education, as it is a human right. Additionally, both sides also expressed a need to continue this dialogue, as it is in the best interests of the Afghan people.

Martin Longden (center; facing forward) seated among the Taliban Delegation, including interim Foreign Minister Muttaqi

Longden has engaged in a similar conversation with the Taliban Delegation before this meeting, notably on 28 November 2021. During this previous meeting, he reiterated the UK Government’s continued support for the people of Afghanistan.

Both discussed during the meeting the topic of females’ education. He stressed the importance upon his correspondents the imperative of getting all Afghan girls back to school and stressed the urgency of the matter.

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