Blinken, Qatari counterpart discuss Afghanistan situation

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Secretary Blinken thanked Qatar for its strong partnership on regional security issues and assistance to safely transit U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, and Afghans at risk…reports Asian Lite News

US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, and Qatari counterpart Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani discussed the situation in Afghanistan on Sunday local time.

Secretary Blinken thanked Qatar for its strong partnership on regional security issues and assistance to safely transit U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, and Afghans at risk, US State Department said.

“Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani about Afghanistan. Secretary Blinken thanked Qatar for its strong partnership on regional security issues and assistance to safely transit U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, and Afghans at risk,” the state department’s readout read.

Qatar is hosting talks between Taliban and Western officials. The country holds influence over the group. Qatar, which hosts a major US airbase, has been the gateway for 55000 people airlifted out of Afghanistan.

The Qatar foreign minister said the only way forward is to offer the current Taliban administration “more collaboration, cooperation and assistance” but that Afghanistan should move towards an inclusive government in an internal process whereby Afghans “decide their future”.

Meanwhile, the US media had also informed that Washington intends to resume evacuation flights from Afghanistan by the end of this year.

After the Taliban’s hostile takeover of Afghanistan on August 15, hundreds of people rushed to the airport, which resulted in several days of chaos. As foreigners and Afghans who helped foreign forces were striving to leave, the airport was shaken by terrorist attacks organized by a local affiliate of the Islamic State terrorist group, Sputnik reported.

9th evacuation flight from Kabul

The ninth evacuation flight from Kabul carrying 353 evacuees departed for Qatar on Sunday marking one of the largest evacuation flights from Afghanistan since the Taliban’s hostile takeover.

The flight from Afghanistan is carrying 353 evacuees, including faculty, staff, and students from the American University of Afghanistan, as well as citizens of Afghanistan, the US, the Netherlands, Denmark and Australia, CNN reported citing the official reports.

Upon arrival in Doha, the passengers will be transported to a facility currently hosting evacuees, where they will be tested for Covid-19. They will remain in Doha until departing for their ultimate destination, CNN reported.

“Qatar will continue to work with international partners on efforts that ensure freedom of movement in Afghanistan, including through serving as an active mediator between various parties. We remain focused on providing humanitarian aid to the country and are dedicated to promoting a stable and peaceful Afghanistan moving forward,” a Qatari official said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the US media had also informed that Washington intends to resume evacuation flights from Afghanistan by the end of this year. (ANI)

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