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Special UN envoy meets Taliban officials in Kabul

Special UN envoy Deborah Lyons met Mullah Abdul Haq Wasiq, the acting intelligence chief of the Taliban government, during which they also discussed the safety of UN personnel and the threat posed by the Islamic State (IS) terror group.

IANS | Kabul |

Special UN envoy Deborah Lyons met Taliban officials in Kabul to discuss the importance of humanitarian assistance for the people in the war-torn nation, the world body’s mission in Afghanistan announced

In a statement on Thursday, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said that Lyons met Mullah Abdul Haq Wasiq, the acting intelligence chief of the Taliban government, during which they also discussed the safety of UN personnel and the threat posed by the Islamic State (IS) terror group, Xinhua news agency.

Lyons, who also heads the UNAMA, recently returned to Kabul after attending several meetings on Afghanistan aboard.

On Wednesday, Lyons held a meeting with the Taliban’s Interior Minister Mullah Sirajuddin Haqqani, stressing the necessity for all UN and humanitarian personnel in Afghanistan to be able to work without intimidation or obstruction to help Afghan people, according to the UNAMA.

“The meeting also addressed the requirement of mutual trust in collective efforts to improve the challenging situation in Afghanistan, not least in restarting the economy, ensuring civil servants and health workers are paid, as well as medicines and food reaching those most in need,” the Mission confirmed.

Earlier this month, Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths visited Kabul and held talks with the Taliban leadership.

Meanwhile on Monday at a meeting in Geneva, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the possibility of a complete economic collapse in Afghanistan was “serious” and highlighted an urgent need for funding support.

On Tuesday, the UN appealed to the countries pledging $1.2 billion in relief for Afghanistan to take action quickly.