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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Qureshi meets Qatari FM: Their role in Afghan peace process to continue

FM Shah Mehmood Qureshi met FM Abdul Rehman al Thani and acknowledged Qatar's role in Afghan peace process.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi Friday met with Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani wherein they discussed the current status of the Afghan peace process and agreed to continue playing a facilitating role for the cause.

The two foreign ministers, during the meeting took place on the sidelines of Antalya Diplomacy Forum in Turkey, exchanged views on the excellent bilateral relations between the two countries and on the evolving developments in the region.

They agreed to continue engaging on matters of mutual interest.

Foreign Minister Qureshi acknowledged the constructive and supportive role played by Qatar in the Afghan peace process and reiterated Pakistan’s support for Intra-Afghan negotiations.

Pakistan and Qatar enjoy close, cordial ties based on mutual trust and understanding.
The bilateral relationship is broad-based and multifaceted, covering diverse fields including political, trade, commercial, defence, people-to-people contacts and cultural exchanges.

US approaches Qatar for base for Afghan security

Security officials under NATO command have approached Qatar to secure a base that can be used to train Afghan special forces as part of a strategic commitment after foreign forces withdraw from Afghanistan, three senior Western officials said.

After two decades of war, forces from 36 countries involved in NATO’s Resolute Support mission in Afghanistan are set to pull out of the country in coordination with a U.S. troop withdrawal by Sept. 11.

Read more: No peace in sight for Afghanistan?

“We are holding talks to earmark a base in Qatar to create an exclusive training ground for senior members of the Afghan forces,” said a senior Western security official in Kabul.

The official, whose country is part of the U.S.-led NATO alliance in Afghanistan, requested anonymity as he was not authorised to speak with journalists.

An integral part of Resolute Support has been to train and equip Afghan security forces fighting the Islamist Taliban, which was ousted from power in 2001 and has since waged an insurgency.

“We have made an offer but it is for authorities in Qatar to decide if they are comfortable with NATO using their territory as a training ground,” said a second security source based in Washington DC.

Read more: FM Qureshi says Afghan peace important but next few months crucial

A third source, a diplomat based in Kabul, said bringing “Afghan special force members to Qatar for about four to six weeks of rigorous training” was under discussion.

Qatar’s government and NATO’s communications office did not respond to questions about the proposal to use the Gulf state as a base for training Afghan forces. The Afghan government also did not respond to a request for comment.

APP with additional input by GVS News Desk