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A UN envoy has met Afghanistan's new interior minister. The meeting between Deborah Lyons, head of the UN mission in Afghanistan, and Sirajuddin Haqqani focused on humanitarian assistance, Suhail Shaheen, a Taliban spokesman, said in a statement on Twitter on Thursday.

"(Haqqani) stressed that UN personnel can conduct their work without any hurdle and deliver vital aid to the Afghan people," he said.

Afghanistan was already facing chronic poverty and drought but the situation has deteriorated since the Taliban took over last month with the disruption of aid, the departure of tens of thousands of people including government and aid workers and the collapse of much economic activity.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told an international aid conference this week that Afghans were facing "perhaps their most perilous hour".

One month after fall of Kabul, economic crisis stalks Taliban

The UN mission in Afghanistan said that in the Wednesday meeting Lyons had stressed the "absolute necessity for all UN and humanitarian personnel in Afghanistan to be able to work without intimidation or obstruction to deliver vital aid and conduct work for Afghan people".

The Taliban repeatedly targeted the United Nations during the two-decades-long US-led military mission in Afghanistan that ended last month with the rout of the Western-backed government by the Taliban.

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