Qatari FM is 1st senior foreign official to visit Kabul under Taliban

Kabul, Sep 12 (EFE).- Qatar’s foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman al-Thani, on Sunday met with Taliban leaders in Kabul during the first visit by a senior foreign official to the Afghan capital since the insurgents took over.

“Qatar’s foreign minister, Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman al-Thani, has arrived in Kabul and met with leadership of the Islamic Emirate at the presidential palace” Bilal Karimi, the Taliban spokesman told EFE.

Al-Thani met Mullah Hassan Akhund, the prime minister of the interim government announced this week, Taliban political spokesperson Naeem Wardak posted on his Twitter account.

Several high-profile Taliban figures took part in the meeting including the new interior and defense ministers, Sirajuddin Haqqani and Mullah Yaqoob Mujahid, respectively, among others.

“The two sides held discussions on mutual relations, humanitarian assistance, economic development and (the) international community’s interactions and relations with the Islamic Emirate, and the leaders of the Islamic Emirate thanked Qatar for its assistance,” Wardak added.

The Qatari minister “congratulated” the Taliban for their “conquest” of Afghanistan and highlighted the good bilateral relations that exist between the two sides, according to the insurgents.

Al-Thani returned home after the meeting, Ahmadullah Muttaqi, a member of the Taliban media office, said.

Qatari authorities have played a pivotal role in the massive effort to evacuate select people from Afghanistan since the August 31 withdrawal of the US troops who were controlling the Kabul airport.

Qatar, which has hosted houses a Taliban political office for years, has served as a mediator in intra-Afghan negotiations while maintaining good relations with Washington.

The Taliban seized control of Kabul on Aug. 15 in a lightning offensive following the final withdrawal of US and NATO troops from Afghanistan.

EFE azq-bks-daa/ta-bp

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