Qatar’s Emir discusses Afghanistan with US Secretaries of state, defense
Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad discussed with US secretaries of state and defense the development in Afghanistan and efforts to enhance the security in the country after the Taliban took over, the Amiri diwan said on Monday.
The Emir met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin in Doha.
The two top US officials are on what is being dubbed as a “thank you” tour to Gulf countries and Germany to thank allies for helping Washington evacuate thousands of people out of Afghanistan.
The US pullout included one of the largest airlifts in history, evacuating more than 120,000 Americans, Afghans, and other nationals. However, thousands of at-risk Afghans who worked for foreign governments in the country remain behind, as well as approximately 100 US citizens.
Blinken will head to Germany after Qatar, and Lloyd will travel to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait.
Washington has been very vocal in its gratitude towards Qatar for the Gulf country’s help with the Afghanistan situation.
The US has moved its mission to Afghanistan from Kabul to Doha. Qatar is also home to a major US airbase.
The State Department had said ahead of Blinken’s visit: “Qatar was the first country to take flights from Afghanistan and is the largest site in the world for hosting people in transit from Afghanistan.”
“More than 55,000 people have passed through Qatar so far helping us repatriate hundreds of US citizens and facilitate the safe travel of thousands of third country nationals and at-risk Afghans,” it added, saying that Doha’s efforts underscore the strength of US-Qatar ties and the importance of the relationship in “promoting regional stability.”