The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Says Qatar Looks Forward to a Peaceful Transition in Afghanistan

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Says Qatar Looks Forward to a Peaceful Transition in Afghanistan

Doha / Information Office / September 01

HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani expressed his hope of a smooth and peaceful transition in Afghanistan that does not cause any problems to the Afghan people.

His Excellency said, in a joint press conference with HE Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands Sigrid Kaag, that the two sides agreed on the importance of enhancing international cooperation and consultation on developments in Afghanistan, particularly the security and political ones. The two sides also reiterated the importance of protecting civilians, freedom of movement, and protecting the gains in basic rights that the people of Afghanistan have made.

His Excellency stressed that talks with the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs were constructive, noting that it dealt with a number of subjects related to bilateral relations and conditions in Afghanistan. He noted that HE the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands discussed how to deal with the humanitarian conditions in Afghanistan, how to provide developmental and humanitarian aid to the Afghan people, and the importance of uniting international efforts in dealing with this important issue.

His Excellency stressed that the State of Qatar will continue its efforts to facilitate the evacuation of Afghan citizens and others wishing to do so from Afghanistan without exposing them to any risks, expressing his appreciation for the role of the Netherlands, stressing the State of Qatar's continued cooperation in this field.

He pointed out that the Qatari and Dutch sides also discussed efforts to cooperate on combating terrorism, and stressed the need for continued cooperation in this file, especially with the recent developments in Afghanistan.

On the conditions of women in Afghanistan, His Excellency said that the subject was one of the important issues that led the agenda of the inter-Afghan dialogue that was held in Doha. He noted that the role of women was a main one, and stressed the importance of that role saying that women were present and part of the Afghan negotiation team.

His Excellency called on the Taliban to polish its policies and rhetoric on women. His Excellency also stressed on the importance of dealing with that issue in line with the rights guaranteed to women and empowering them to exercise all their rights without going back on what has been accomplished.

His Excellency highlighted the State of Qatar's model of dealing with women's issues, noting that the State of Qatar as a Muslim country sees women play an active and important role.

He said that 60 percent of Qatar University's graduates were women, while 52 percent of workers in the public sector were also women. His Excellency said that the Qatari example can be followed by the Taliban or elsewhere, as Muslim countries can make progress on women's issues based on the teachings of the Islamic religion. 

 On the status of developmental and humanitarian support, His Excellency said that he has discussed that topic with the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs and the foreign minister of partners and allies. He added that they also discussed the importance of continuing humanitarian aid and the work of UN institutions operating in Afghanistan to support the Afghan people, stressing the importance of avoiding any retreat regarding that.

His Excellency said that the question that does pose itself is what are the channels through which support can be provided and how will it be dealt with. His Excellency noted that, so far, there has been no decline in the UN operations over the past two weeks and was not impeded by any of the Afghan parties. He added that they are encouraging that policy to continue and consider it one of the most important points discussed with the Taliban. His Excellency stressed the State of Qatars commitment to supporting humanitarian institutions and supporting the delivery of aid to those who need it.

On the evacuation operations, HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said that the State of Qatar contributed in helping friendly countries in evacuating their citizens out of Afghanistan, and that there are thousands of people who arrived in Doha and left to their countries, and in the case of Afghans to a third country.

His Excellency added that Qatar is encouraging Taliban to respect the freedom of movement and to find a safe passage to allow people into and outside of Afghanistan, whether for Afghans or others. He expressed his hope that these commitment can be met in the near future, and that the airport can restart its operations soon, and that the process is carried out smoothly so that people who want to leave or come to Afghanistan dont face any challenges whether from the Taliban or from other groups.

He noted that the discussions between Qatar and the Taliban were done in coordination with Qatars allies at the regional and international levels, noting that the State of Qatars communication with the Taliban is done through a mediation process and in consultation and cooperation with other partner countries and allies, stressing that the State of Qatar played a role in the inter-Afghan dialogue and that many countries tried to help in that process.

HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs said that it is not possible to say that Qatar has achieved something that other couldnt, rather it's that each country has its own communication channels with the Taliban. He noted that the State of Qatars role as an impartial mediator over the last few years between the Taliban and the US and in the inter-Afghan dialogue helped build trust not just with the Taliban, but with all Afghan parties. He also stressed the importance of investing in that trust and building on it to benefit Afghanistan in the future.

For her part, HE Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands Sigrid Kaag expressed her sincere thanks to the State of Qatar for the important role it played in the Afghan crisis at the political and international levels.

She said that Qatar's important role behind the scenes and on the international scene regarding what is happening in Afghanistan is highly appreciated, as well as Qatar's important role in the evacuation and protection of Afghan citizens and others who left Afghanistan, including Dutch citizens. She hoped for citizens of other countries would return safely to their countries and that the Afghans would find refuge in Europe.

Her Excellency also praised the communication and continuation of consultations between Qatar and the Netherlands regarding the Afghan situation, adding that it falls within the framework of friendly relations based on trust between the two countries.

HE Minister of Foreign Affairs indicated that her discussions with HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani dealt with the situation in Afghanistan in detail, the future of the country and the need for it not to return to becoming a platform for international terrorism, which HE stressed the importance of combating and said that the Netherlands will play its role in this regard with its partners.

She explained that it was also stressed the need to provide humanitarian and development assistance to Afghanistan in the appropriate manner and means, as well as discussing the situation of ethnic minorities and the rights of women and girls there.

HE added that everyone is looking forward to Qatar's leading and important role as they have known it, and they support it and look forward to more of it in this regard in order to reach comprehensive political solutions in Afghanistan for the benefit of its citizens and the interests of the region and European countries as well, referring in this regard to the flow of illegal immigrants towards Europe and human trafficking.

Her Excellency said that the Netherlands decided to transfer its embassy in Afghanistan to Qatar to resume its work from Doha, and that it had asked the State of Qatar to approve this request.

She also indicated that her discussions with HE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs also touched on Qatar's preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and workers' rights, expressing her wishes for the success of Qatar's hosting of this global sporting event under the leadership and directives of HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.

She noted that the foreign ministers of the European Union countries will discuss, starting on Thursday over a period of two days, the situation in Afghanistan. HE stressed that this situation will be an important topic on the agenda of the meeting, referring to statements they issued before calling on the Taliban, among other things, to respect human and women rights and representation in the government and paying attention to sustainable development issues to help rebuild and provide assistance for the benefit of the Afghan people, specifically with regard to projects and programs that concern women and girls, their return to school and their security, adding that they must see concrete actions and not just words.

On her vision of the political path in Afghanistan, Her Excellency said that it is currently difficult to assess the political process there, expressing her confidence that the State of Qatar will continue its important and constructive role in this regard with its partners, whether in the field or at the level of dialogue, as all are a united international family.