Qatari PM Holds Secret Talks with Afghan Supreme Leader to Address Tensions, news which is being considered as a diplomatic milestone. Secret negotiations took place this month between the Prime Minister of Qatar and the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, aimed at resolving tensions with the international community, according to a source with knowledge of the meeting. The rendezvous occurred on May 12 in Kandahar, a city located in southern Afghanistan, where Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani engaged in discussions with Hibatullah Akhundzada, marking the first time the reclusive leader of the IEA has met with a foreign leader.
The talks were shared with and briefed to the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden, who is actively coordinating efforts pertaining to the issues discussed in the meeting. The focus of the conversation was to promote dialogue with the IEA, as disclosed by the source speaking to Reuters on the condition of anonymity.
Among the matters brought up by Sheikh Mohammed during the meeting, the source mentioned the importance of putting an end to the IEA’s restrictions on girls’ education and women’s employment. This gathering signifies a diplomatic triumph for Qatar, a nation that has not only criticized the IEA’s limitations on women but has also leveraged its longstanding connections to advocate for deeper engagement between Kabul and the international community.
According to the source cited by Reuters, the comments made indicate that Washington is supportive of elevating the level of these discussions, which have previously proven unfruitful. There is hope that this may lead to a breakthrough that could bring an end to the world’s sole bans of this nature, alleviating the dire humanitarian and financial crises that have left tens of millions of Afghans suffering from hunger and unemployment.
Although the White House declined to comment on the talks, both the State Department and the Qatari embassy in Washington did not respond to requests for comments.