Jaishankar meets Qatar foreign minister, exchange views on Afghanistan

  • Contacts between India and Qatar over the situation in Afghanistan have grown over the past months. Qatar’s special envoy for conflict resolution Mutlaq bin Majed Al-Qahtani had visited New Delhi earlier this month and invited India for a round of talks on the situation in Afghanistan

Elizabeth Roche
Updated20 Aug 2021, 10:20 PM IST
Qatar has been host to the Taliban’s political office in Doha since 2013 and is seen as wielding influence over the group
Qatar has been host to the Taliban’s political office in Doha since 2013 and is seen as wielding influence over the group(Photo: Reuters)

NEW DELHI: Indian foreign minister S Jaishankar on Friday stopped off in Doha on his way back home from the US against the backdrop of the Taliban overrunning Afghanistan.

“Met Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani @MBA_AlThani_ DPM & FM Qatar during my stop over in Doha. Had useful exchange of views on Afghanistan,” the minister said in a Twitter post.

Contacts between India and Qatar over the situation in Afghanistan have grown over the past months. Qatar’s special envoy for conflict resolution Mutlaq bin Majed Al-Qahtani had visited New Delhi earlier this month and invited India for a round of talks on the situation in Afghanistan.

Qatar has been host to the Taliban’s political office in Doha since 2013 and is seen as wielding influence over the group. Dohas has played host to negotiations between the US and the Taliban that facilitated the exit of US-led foreign troops from Afghanistan. The Qatari capital has also played host to talks between the Taliban and the representatives of the Afghan government of Ashraf Ghani. Ghani resigned on Sunday after the Taliban surrounded Kabul after a lightning sweep of provincial capitals across the country.

New Delhi is seen as being at a disadvantageous position after the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, who are backed by Pakistan, India’s arch rival. India has recently made some contacts with the Taliban the results of which are unsure. India had pulled out its diplomatic staff from Kabul on Tuesday given the uncertain security situation there.

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First Published:20 Aug 2021, 10:20 PM IST
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