According to a Qatari official in the foreign ministry, Qatar is trying to assist in the creation of humanitarian corridors to send aid into Afghanistan as soon as possible. Mutlaq bin Majed al-Qahtani, Qatar’s Special Envoy, said Qatar was negotiating with the Taliban to guarantee an orderly handover of power to a government that includes everyone.
Al-Qahtani landed in Kabul on Friday, according to a Qatari source familiar with the visit, to discuss the formation of an inclusive Afghan government and the reopening of the Kabul airport. Qatar, which has hosted the Taliban’s political office since 2013, has emerged as a major mediator with the group. It was the Taliban that negotiated the US military’s exit and separate negotiations with the Afghan government in Qatar.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday that he will visit Qatar and Germany next week for discussions on Afghanistan. During the closing days of the 20-year US military deployment, Bilnken will be in Qatar on Monday and Tuesday.
He will then head to the US airbase of Ramstein in Germany. He said he will meet with German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass and then convene a virtual ministerial conference of 20 nations to discuss the situation. The countries “all have a stake in helping to relocate and resettle Afghans and in holding the Taliban to their commitments,” said Blinken.
The Pentagon said on Friday that US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will visit Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Kuwait next week. To meet with regional authorities, as well as US service members and other government personnel, Austin was scheduled to travel on Sunday morning.
“Throughout his trip, Secretary Austin will meet with regional partners and thank them for their co-operation with the United States as we evacuated Americans, Afghans and citizens from other nations from Afghanistan,” said John Kirby, Pentagon spokesperson.