Afghan media reports say a high-level meeting took place in Kabul on January 19 to assess the status of the Afghanistan economy.

The meeting was attended by members of the Islamic Emirate cabinet and UN representatives as well as representatives of 20 foreign countries. 

TOLOnews says that speaking at the meeting Prime Minister Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund called on Islamic countries to be the first to recognize the Taliban government in Afghanistan and urged the United Sates to release the Central Bank’s assets. 

He reportedly called on the Islamic countries not to wait and let the United States be the first to recognize Afghanistan.

Mullah Mohammad Akhund said the lack of recognition is creating severe challenges in a variety of ways.

“If the economic process is implemented, I believe Afghanistan would be pulled out of the current crisis,” he said. 

Amir Khan Muttaqi, the acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, said that Afghanistan already has an independent government. 

“It is obvious to them that Afghanistan has a government which is responsible, committed and believes in acting in mutual interest," he said.

Speaking at the meeting, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Afghanistan Deborah Lyons reportedly said that the role of women and girls is vital for economic progress in the country.