Qatar played a surprising role

Qatar has played a major role in U.S. efforts to evacuate tens of thousands of people from Afghanistan and is now facing a new assignment.

Source: Tanjug
Tanjug/Qatar Government Communications Office via AP
Tanjug/Qatar Government Communications Office via AP

According to the AP, the small Arab state is being asked to help shape what lies ahead for Afghanistan because of its ties with both Washington and the Taliban.

According to the agency, Qatar will be among the global players during today's virtual meeting hosted by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, which will discuss a coordinated approach for the coming days, at a time when the U.S. is completing its withdrawal from Afghanistan after the Taliban took over power.

Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, Turkey, the European Union and NATO will also take part in the meeting.

The Taliban have reportedly asked Qatar to provide civilian technical assistance at Kabul International Airport after the U.S. completes its military withdrawal tomorrow. Meanwhile, United Nations agencies have asked Qatar for help and support in sending aid to Afghanistan. However, this role of Qatar, according to the AP, was a bit unexpected.

The country, which shares a land border with Saudi Arabia and a huge underwater gas field with Iran, was supposed to be a transit point for only a few thousand people who flew from Afghanistan within a few months. Following the surprisingly rapid Taliban takeover of Kabul on August 15, the United States called on Qatar to help evacuate tens of thousands of people in chaotic air travel.

In the end, it turned out that almost 40 percent of all evacuees went through Qatar, which is why, according to the AP, that country received praise from Washington.

The international media also relied on Qatar to evacuate its own staff. Official Washington announced on Saturday that 113.500 people have been evacuated from Afghanistan since August 14, and Qatar states that slightly more than 43.000 have passed through the country.


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