Japan envoy meets Afghan Taliban foreign minister in Doha

Tokyo, Oct 28 (EFE).- Japan has urged the Taliban to facilitate the evacuation of its citizens from Afghanistan, said the Japanese foreign ministry Thursday, a day after its ambassador met the Afghan foreign minister in Doha.

Ambassador Takashi Okada met Amir Khan Muttaqi in the Qatari capital Wednesday, marking the first high-level contact between the two sides after the Taliban seized power in Kabul on Aug.5, the foreign ministry said.

The meeting focused on humanitarian aid to the war-ravaged country, battling crises amid the global funding blockage and snapped access to more than $9.5 billion in loans, funding, and assets by the United States, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund.

Japan, like other countries, has moved its diplomatic operations from Afghanistan since early September.

Okada asked Muttaqi to facilitate the departure of Japanese citizens who are still in Afghanistan.

Japan has evacuated more than 300 nationals and local staff working at the Japanese embassy and on cooperation projects.

Okada urged the acting Taliban foreign minister to secure safe routes for Japan to provide humanitarian aid to Afghans and to uphold human rights, including for women and ethnic minorities, the foreign ministry said.

Muttaqi expressed his willingness to cooperate with Japan.

During the United Nations General Assembly in September, the Taliban had requested formal recognition of the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan.

The request remains on hold pending review by a UN committee.

The UN even turned down the request by the Taliban to have its envoy address the General Assembly.

Since the Taliban seized power, the Islamist group has repeatedly urged the international community to recognize their authority.


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