KABUL, Afghanistan — The Middle Eastern State of Qatar, which has played an outsized role in Afghanistan since the Taliban’s sweep to power on Aug. 15, has sent a delegation to Kabul. It is the highest diplomatic level delegation to visit the Afghan capital since the Taliban announced their interim Cabinet.
Taliban political spokesman Suhail Shaheen tweeted Sunday about the high-level delegation, saying it included Sheikh Mohammad bin Abdur Rahman Al-Thani, the deputy prime minister who is also Qatar’s foreign minister.
He met with Taliban Prime Minister Mullah Mohammad Hasan Akhund. The Qatar delegation also met with former president Hamid Karzai and Abdullah Abdullah, the previous government’s chief negotiator in peace talks with the Taliban.
The Taliban have maintained a political office in the Qatar capital of Doha since 2013. Last week, Qatar Airways became the first international airline to begin operating international flights out of Kabul international airport, transporting more than 250 foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens, out of the capital.
Qatar has also provided technical assistance, along with Turkey, to restart the airport, which had been damaged by departing U.S. troops who left Afghanistan on Aug. 30 after evacuating tens of thousands of Afghans fleeing the return of the Taliban.