The UN Security Council committee has granted an exemption to the Taliban foreign minister, Amir Khan Muttaqi, allowing him to travel from Afghanistan to Pakistan next week to meet with the foreign ministers of Pakistan and China. Muttaqi has been subjected to a travel ban, asset freeze and arms embargo under Security Council sanctions. The trip between May 6-9 will be funded by Pakistan, and it is unclear what will be discussed. Pakistan and China have both expressed their willingness to include Afghanistan in their multibillion-dollar infrastructure project, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Afghanistan is strategically placed for trade routes between South and Central Asia and has valuable mineral resources. In August 2021, the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan when US-led forces withdrew after 20 years of war. Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is meeting envoys from various countries in Doha to discuss key issues such as human rights, inclusive governance, countering terrorism and drug trafficking. The Taliban administration has not been invited to the Doha meeting.
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