A United Nations Security Council committee on Monday agreed to allow the foreign minister of Afghanistan’s de facto Taliban government to travel to Pakistan next week to meet with the top diplomats of that country and China, diplomatic sources said.

Mr Moutaki has been slapped with sanctions by the United Nations, including a ban on traveling outside his country and a freeze on any assets he has abroad.

In a letter to the 15-member SA Taliban sanctions committee, Pakistan’s mission to the United Nations asked for an exception to allow Mr Mutaki to travel from Saturday May 6 to Tuesday May 9 to Pakistani territory for meetings “with Foreign Ministers of Pakistan and China”.

It was not specified what the ministers will discuss. Pakistan will cover all the travel expenses of Mr. Mutaki.

Chinese and Pakistani officials have previously said they would welcome Taliban-led Afghanistan’s participation in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a multibillion-dollar infrastructure project part of Beijing’s New Silk Road.

The Asian country is located on a key trade and transit route between central and southern Asia, and its territory contains untapped mineral resources with an estimated value of billions of dollars.

The Taliban regained power in the country in August 2021 as US and allied forces withdrew after 20 years of war and the Western-backed government collapsed.

The same Security Council committee last month allowed Mr Mutaki to travel to Uzbekistan for talks with neighboring foreign ministers on urgent security issues, among other things.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres began talks with special envoys of various countries for Afghanistan yesterday Monday in Doha with the aim of reaching an “understanding” in the international community regarding contacts with the Taliban, his spokesman Stephane Dujarric announced yesterday.

Mr. Dujarric said that the closed-door session will discuss issues such as human rights – especially the rights of women and girls -, inclusive governance, the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking.

Participating are China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Norway, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Britain, USA, Uzbekistan, European Union and Organization of Islamic Republic.

The de facto Taliban government was not invited.