Qatar urges Taliban to accept foreign presence as security personnel at Kabul Airport

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Afghanistan Update

A senior Qatari official said that the Taliban’s refusal to allow foreign security personnel to enter Kabul’s airport hindered the international community’s efforts to reopen the transportation hub for commercial flights after the United States completes its withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani told the Financial Times that this Gulf country has been the main interlocutor between the West and the Taliban, and it urges the new rulers of Afghanistan to accept External assistance to operate the airport.

But he said that the organization took power after the Afghan government collapsed after the U.S. withdrawal two weeks ago, “mainly focusing on technology.”

“What is clear [Taliban] The objection is that they do not want to see the presence of foreign security in their airports or territories,” Sheikh Mohammed said. “What we are trying to explain to them is that airport safety and security require more than just protecting the surrounding area. ”

As the U.S. scrambles Complete the final retreat of its troops People from the country are increasingly worried that thousands of Afghans working for the Western military and other entities will be trapped in the country and face the risk of Taliban retaliation.

The United Nations agency also warned that maintaining the normal operation of the airport is essential for providing humanitarian assistance.

Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar: “For the way forward, we are still considering how to coordinate future cooperation.” ©AFP via Getty Images

The Taliban said it wants to open the airport to commercial flights and allow Afghans to leave with the necessary travel documents. But on Monday it told Afghans that even if they have visas and the correct documents, they will be barred from going to the airport.

The security problems around the airport have intensified Suicide bomber Last week, more than 100 people, including 13 American soldiers, were killed in an attack claimed by Isis-K, the Afghan branch of the Jihad Network.On Monday, Isis claimed that Launch five rockets At the airport, it was intercepted by the U.S. defense system.

Sheikh Mohamed stated that international airlines “cannot” fly to Kabul unless they “reach a certain safety standard.”

Turkey has previously stated that it can help operate the airport, and Sheikh Mohammed said that the two countries are coordinating their efforts.

If Doha facilitated the negotiations between the United States and the Taliban and played a vital role in the evacuation, if Doha can reach an agreement with the Islamic movement, he did not elaborate on what role Qatar might play in airport operations.

Sheikh Mohammed said that Doha will “have to assess the situation and see what we can and cannot do”.

“We don’t mind who operates it, but we are all concerned about what, if they want the airport to operate and operate flights for civilians, it needs to meet the safety standards we are looking for,” he said. “This is considered our top priority, and what we have seen in the past few days is also the top priority of the Taliban. They want to show… There is no impact, the airport is operating, so we Hope we can reach an agreement.”

Sheikh Mohamed said that after Thursday’s suicide attack, there was “some communication and cooperation” in counter-terrorism, and Doha acted as an intermediary. Between the U.S. and the Taliban.

“We have seen them respond to some extent,” he said. “For the way forward, we are still considering how to coordinate future cooperation.”

He added that contact with the Taliban is important, but said there is a need to reach an international consensus on whether and when the government will consider recognizing the Taliban-led government if it fulfills its “promises”.

“If they want to have an inclusive government, if they are willing to negotiate with each other, [Afghan parties], And they are willing to take some steps that will not bring Afghanistan back to the old times. This will be some reasonable things for the international community to continue to cooperate with them on the way forward,” he said.

The Taliban told the Qatar envoy that they are willing to share power and appoint other Afghans to join the government. But Sheikh Mohamed said that it is not yet clear what form the new regime will take or what percentage of representation it may have.

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