English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

Qatari PM Abdulrahman Al Thani visits Kandahar, meets Taliban officials

Qatar's Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani arrives in Afghanistan on Friday

Qatar’s Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani arrived in Kandahar on Friday and met with Taliban officials, reported Tolo News.

He met with Afghanistan’s Prime Minister Mohammad Hassan Akhund, the spokesman of the Taliban Zabiullah Mujahid said on Twitter. “In this meeting, the Prime Minister of that country emphasized on strengthening the relations and increasing the level of trust between the two countries, as well as practical cooperation in the educational, health and economic fields of Afghanistan,” he tweeted.

The Qatari delegation also included the head of the Qatari State Security (Intelligence Service) Abdullah Al-Khulaifi.

Mujahid said they discussed cooperation in strengthening relations and trust, and working together in the education, health and economic sectors, reported Tolo News.

“Qatar’s further cooperation with the people of Afghanistan was emphasized.

At the same time, the heartfelt message of the Emir of Qatar was appreciated and that country was encouraged to play a greater role in building more trust between the countries and the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” tweeted Mujahid.

Notably, Qatar facilitated discussions between the Islamic Emirate and the US government that resulted in a peace deal on February 29 of 2020.

Qatar has longstanding ties with the Taliban. While this approach is criticized by some, others benefit from the country’s contacts. Qatar’s main interest is to cement its position as a regional mediator.

The relationship between Qatar and the Taliban is anything but new. As early as 2013, Qatar allowed the Taliban to open an office in Doha, with the support of the US administration under Barack Obama.

At the time, Washington was looking for a neutral place to negotiate with the Islamist militia in order to prepare for the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, reported DW News.

Since 2018, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, who is one of the founding members of the Taliban, has led its representation in Qatar.