The United Nations' new special representative for Afghanistan Roza Otunbaeva has met with high-ranked officials of the Taliban-led government to discuss a "broad range of issues, including international assistance, drug abuse, and the importance of girls' education," the UN said on October 16.
According to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), during her visit to Kabul, Otunbaeva held separate meetings with Taliban acting Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi and acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, among others.
The two sides "agreed close cooperation to address pressing issues faced" by the people of Afghanistan, the UNAMA said in a series of tweets.
Afghan media quoted a Taliban Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying the ministry told the envoy "that now is the time for Afghanistan and the world to come closer together and understand each other's priorities, conditions, and requests, and the UNAMA can achieve this well."
Since returning to power in August 2021 following the withdrawal of U.S. forces, the hard-line Taliban has barred girls from attending secondary school and prohibited women from many government jobs.
No country has yet officially recognized the Taliban as Afghanistan's government. Much of the international community has made the reopening of secondary schools for girls one of the key conditions for formally recognizing the Taliban-led government.
Formerly a president of Kyrgyzstan, Otunbaeva was named the head of UNAMA last month, replacing Deborah Lyons, who stepped down in mid-June.