US urges Saudi allies to ease Qatar blockade
10 June 2017 | 4:30 am
The United States urges Saudi Arabia and its regional allies to ease their blockade imposed on Qatar, which US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says was harming the regional struggle against extremism.
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.
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.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told the Foreign Affairs Committee that the previous presidency left Joe Biden little choice but to complete the withdrawal. Republicans called it "an unmitigated disaster."
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.
France is looking to shore up EU support as the fallout from a surprise defense deal grows. The US, Australia and Britain insist that the diplomatic crisis wouldn't affect their long-term relations with France.
Emmanuel Macron and Joe Biden have agreed that "open consultations" could have prevented the diplomatic row between Paris and Washington over a nuclear submarine deal.
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.
Supporters of the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah staged a protest after a court dismissed a legal complaint about the judge investigating the 2020 Beirut port explosion.
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