Qatar warns against isolating Taliban


Qatar’s foreign minister has warned that isolating the Taliban could lead to further instability and urged countries to engage with the movement to address security and socioeconomic concerns in Afghanistan.

“If we are starting to put conditions and stopping this engagement, we are going to leave a vacuum, and the question is, who is going to fill this vacuum?,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said in Doha on Tuesday, alongside his German counterpart, Heiko Maas, Al Jazeera reported.

The US-allied Gulf Arab state has emerged as a key interlocutor to the Taliban, having hosted the group’s political office since 2013.

“We believe that without engagement we cannot reach … real progress on the security front or on the socioeconomic front,” Sheikh Mohammed said, adding that recognising the Taliban as the government was not a priority.

The Qatari foreign minister also warned against any rise of “terrorism” after the US withdrawal and called for an inclusive government, the report said.

“It is our role to always urge them (the Taliban) to have an expanded government that includes all parties and not to exclude any party.

“During our talks with the Taliban, there was no positive or negative response,” al-Thani said, referring to recent talks between Qatar and Afghanistan’s new rulers.