Friday, September 24, 2021

FM Heiko Maas in Afghanistan-related talks in Qatar

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Tuesday, 31 August 2021, Doha, State of Qatar: Germany’s chief of diplomacy Heiko Maas was received by his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani to discuss the Qatari role in moderating the response by Western countries to the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan on 15 August, which is yet to be recognize by any country. 

Qatar has been mediating between the EU, the U.S.A. and the now-toppled elected Afghan government and Taliban representatives for many years, and Doha has been the centre of Taliban diplomacy since 2013.  As a matter of fact, the U.S.A. as well as the United Kingdom have already announced that their diplomatic ties to Afghanistan shall henceforth be dealt from Doha until further notice. 

Qatar’s Vice Premier and Foreign Minister warned that isolating the Taliban could lead to further instability and urged the international community to engage with the movement to address security and socioeconomic concerns in Afghanistan during a press conference.

On the agenda was the issue of legitimacy for the novel Afghan government that according to Taliban sources will be announced within days. Meanwhile the international community is eager to secure a working airport in Kabul, albeit the issue remains contentious as no foreign power is thus far willing or capable to provide the necessary expertise, and military security for it. 

Qatar, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and Uzbekistan have been instrumental staging posts for evacuation flights for Western countries’ citizens, as well as Afghan interpreters, journalists and members of civil society. 

During his visit to Qatar, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas was also received by the country’s head of state, HH The Amir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani at the Amirial Diwan. 

For further information: 
Embassy of the State of Qatar in the Federal Republic of Germany: https://berlin.embassy.qa/en

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