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Qatar PM meets senior Taliban officials in Kandahar

May 13, 2023 at 11:34 am

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani. [Russian Foreign Ministry Press – Anadolu Agency]

The Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed Bin Abdul Rahman Al-Thani met Taliban officials in the Afghan city of Kandahar, in the south of the country on Friday.

Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid posted pictures on social media on Friday of a visit by a high-ranking Qatari delegation.

Mujahid explained that Al-Thani and Head of State Security Abdullah Bin Mohammed Al-Khulaifi met with Head of the Taliban’s interim government Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund and other officials in the movement.

According to Mujahid, the Qatari delegation and the Taliban stressed the importance of strengthening bilateral relations, increasing trust between the two countries and developing cooperation in various fields, such as education, health and economy.

He added that Akhund expressed his welcome of Qatar’s cooperation and goodwill towards Afghanistan and stressed the need to strengthen bilateral relations.

Kandahar province, in southern Afghanistan, gained political importance after the Taliban took control of the country in 2021.

The population of Kandahar is predominantly Pashtun, who form the backbone of the Taliban. Several senior Taliban officials are from Kandahar and have homes in the city.

Recently, two Taliban spokespeople, Zabihullah Mujahid and Bilal Karimi, opened an office in Kandahar.

Qatar hosted peace talks between the Taliban and the former Afghan government and played an important role in the process that led to the Doha Agreement signed between the Taliban and the US on 29 February, 2020.

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