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Dilemma over SAARC foreign ministers meeting continues, who will represent Afghanistan?

During the SCO meet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the new regime in Afghanistan is non-inclusive and does not have representation of all sections of Afghan society, minorities and women.

India TV News Desk India TV News Desk
United Nations Published on: September 19, 2021 8:17 IST
unga saarc meeting 2021
Image Source : AP/REPRESENTATIVE

Dilemma over SAARC foreign ministers meeting continues, who will represent Afghanistan?

The dilemma continues for SAARC as there is still no representative for Afghanistan, SAARC's youngest member. While the new regime in Kabul is still not recognised by the world, top cabinet ministers are also blacklisted by the UN. This year all eyes will be on this meeting. It is learnt that the schedule of the meeting is still being worked out. Amir Khan Muttaqi is the acting foreign minister of Taliban led government in Afghanistan and he is unlikely to attend any UN and affiliated meetings.

During the upcoming week at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), several high-level multilateral meetings are expected to take place in which India will participate. 

In fact, during the SCO meet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the new regime in Afghanistan is non-inclusive and does not have representation of all sections of Afghan society, minorities and women. Modi has cautioned the international community before accepting or recognising the new system in Afghanistan, there should be a broad-based discussion at the global level.

It is learnt that there is a possibility of Nepal hosting the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) foreign affairs ministers meet. However, a former diplomat of Nepal was quoted by Kathmandu Post in which he cast doubt on whether the meeting will happen or not.

Informed sources told news agency ANI that if the meeting happens then the Afghan chair during the meet is likely to have no representation.  "How to convene the meeting is an issue because we don't know yet who will represent Afghanistan," said Durga Bhattarai, a former permanent representative of Nepal to the UN in New York. "Have we recognised the new regime in Afghanistan yet?"

The meeting is an informal annual affair. Last year, it happened in a virtual format. In the meeting external affairs minister reiterated India's commitment towards SAARC, response to Covid-19, economic recovery, need for connectivity and scourge of terrorism was discussed.

The SAARC in-person meet during 2019 saw a bitter tiff and drama as foreign ministers of India and Pakistan boycotted each other's speech. 

(With ANI Inputs)

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