Thu, 28 Sep 2023

Taliban urges Qatar to invest in Afghanistan

15 May 2023, 09:55 GMT+10

Kabul [Afghanistan], May 15 (ANI): Taliban urged Qatar to invest in Afghanistan and requested them to take steps for the improvement of relations between the international community and Afghanistan, reported Tolo News.

Taliban's spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, said that officials of the Afghan interim government in their meeting with the Qatari delegation who visited Kandahar on Friday urged them to invest in Afghanistan.

Qatar's Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani arrived in Kandahar and met with Taliban officials.

Mujahid said that the Taliban requested that Qatar take steps for the improvement of relations between the international community and Afghanistan, reported Tolo News.

"We asked Qatar for their continued cooperation and to take influential steps in diplomacy to eliminate the concerns and doubts existing in some countries," he said.

However, some diplomats said that Qatar's Prime Minister brought an important message to the Taliban, reported Tolo News.

"Qatar itself, as the supporter of the Taliban, sent its Prime Minister to tell the Taliban that they are still a supporter of the Taliban but 'your actions affect the reputation and position of Qatar at an international level.' Another message was from regional countries since the recent (Doha) meeting about the concern about the Taliban," said Barna Salehi, political analyst.

"If the international community wants to improve its relations with the Taliban via Qatar, I think the major influence of Qatar cannot be ignored and they may help the Taliban in the improvement of their relations," said Nematullah Bizhan, political analyst.

This comes as Qatar's Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the Prime Minister of Qatar spoke with US Secretary Antony Blinken and discussed bilateral relations and the situation in Afghanistan, reported Tolo News.

"The role of Qatar has been positive in Afghanistan's political and economic interaction. As it played an important role in signing the agreement, it currently plays an important role in extensions of engagement between the Islamic Emirate and the international community," said Abdul Latif Nazari, the Deputy Minister of Economy.

Qatar hosted the fragile peace negotiations between the US and then Islamic Emirate's political office that also resulted in a peace deal between the US and Taliban, reported Tolo News.

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. (ANI)

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