Afghan govt decides against sending FM Muttaqi to OIC summit in Islamabad

Published March 21, 2022
Afghanistan's acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi gestures while speaking during an event held in the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad on November 12, 2021. Photo: AFP/File
Afghanistan's acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi gestures while speaking during an event held in the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad on November 12, 2021. Photo: AFP/File

The Afghan government will be represented at the meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation's (OIC) Council of Foreign Minis­ters in Islamabad by an official of the Afghan foreign ministry and not their Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi.

Pakistan will be hosting the 48th meeting of the OIC Conference of Foreign Ministers (CFM) from Tuesday to Wednesday, and Afghanistan will also be on the agenda.

Afghan Foreign Ministry's deputy spokesman Hafiz Zia Takal told Dawn.com that a ministry official named Muhammad Akbar Azeemi will lead the Taliban government's team at the moot in Islamabad.

The Taliban government had sent Muttaqi to the ext­raordinary session of the OIC foreign ministers in Islamabad in December.

There had been a lot of debate over Muttaqi's participation in the last OIC moot in Islamabad when he was missing in the foreign ministers' group photo while the Afghan seat had remained vacant. Muttaqi was sitting in the last rows of guests.

This time around, the Taliban government has downgraded the level of its participation in the OIC summit by sending an Afghan foreign ministry official rather than its minister.

No member of the 57-member OIC has recognised the Taliban government. The seat is officially still with the ousted government of Ashraf Ghani just as is the case in the United Nations.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office said that a trust fund for humanitarian affairs under the auspices of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) will be announced later on Monday. The fund will serve as a means to direct humanitarian aid to Afghanistan through partnership with other international actors.

Secretary General of OIC Hissein Brahim Taha in the December OIC meeting in Islamabad had requested the OIC General Secretariat, the IsDB, the Trust Fund, together with relevant UN Agencies, to draw a road map to mobilise actions in the relevant fora to open financial and banking channels to restore liquidity and flow of financial and humanitarian assistance.

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