Saudi says Qatar must implement “promises made” over extremist groups
07 June 2017 | 5:24 am
Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister says Qatar must take several steps to restore ties with other Arab states.
Once allies, Saudi Arabia and the Taliban have been divided by war, betrayal, and 9/11. As Afghanistan changes and Middle East relations shift, the two won't rekindle ties, but another nation is looking closely at Kabul.
Over the next four days, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas will head to five countries — all of which have a role to play in the effort to get those in need of protection out of Afghanistan.
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.
Just days ago, Beheshta Arghand made history by becoming the first female Afghan journalist to interview a Taliban official live on television -- now she's a refugee overcome by emotion appealing for help.
Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani says his country is working with Taliban to reopen Kabul airport "as soon as possible", during a joint press conference with his British counterpart Dominic Raab in Doha.
At a compound set to host attendees of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, a few hundred Afghan refugees await their fate, hoping they will be accepted in Europe or America. Some like Ahmad Wali Sarhadi, who hasn’t spoken to his wife and five children since he left them behind in Kandahar, have no idea what lies ahead.
Qatar is considered one of the countries with the most influence over the hard-line Islamist group. Meanwhile, Taliban forces in Kabul have been ordered to wear uniforms, after fighters harassed and beat people.
According to Doha, over 230 Afghan, US and European nationals were aboard the Qatari flight, the fourth to evacuate citizens since the end of the US mission in Afghanistan.
Qataris voted for 30 out of the 45-member council that will approve general state policies — but will have no say in the setting of defense, security or economic policy.
The US has promised to provide humanitarian support to the Afghan population, but maintained that it does not formally recognize the Taliban's rule.
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