The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, discussed in Doha with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo the relations between Doha and Washington, the most prominent developments in regional and international issues, and the US Secretary met negotiators for the Taliban and the Afghan government, and discussed with them the course of peace negotiations between the two parties hosted by Doha for weeks .
The Qatar News Agency said that during the meeting of the Emir of Qatar and Secretary Pompeo, the strategic bilateral relations between Qatar and the United States were reviewed, ways of strengthening and developing them, in addition to discussing the most prominent regional and international developments.
A US State Department statement said that Pompeo thanked the Emir of Qatar for the Qatari military partnership at Al Udeid Air Base, initiatives to combat terrorist financing, continued support for peace negotiations in Afghanistan, the need for joint action to confront threats to stability and the importance of overcoming divisions within the Gulf.
Secretary Pompeo said in a tweet on Twitter that the strong counterterrorism partnership and military partnerships with Qatar are a vital part of Washington’s regional security goals, and Pompeo added that he is pleased to have the opportunity to further strengthen the Qatar-US partnership.
Taliban and Kabul
During his visit to Qatar, the US Secretary of State met negotiators from the Taliban movement and the Afghan government, and the US State Department said that Pompeo commended both sides for continuing negotiations and for the progress they had made, and called for a significant reduction in violence.
Pompeo My delegation meets negotiations #Afghanistan in a # Doha
Pompeo met the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani, and discussed with them developments in the region and the Gulf crisis. Https://t.co/8lXPTwvLt0
– ANADOLU AGENCY (AR) (@aa_arabic) November 22, 2020
The US Secretary encouraged urgent talks on a political roadmap and a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire, adding that the people of Afghanistan “expect and deserve to live in peace and security after 40 years of war and bloodshed.”
Talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban began in the Qatari capital, Doha, on September 12, but disagreements quickly prevailed over the agenda, the basic framework for discussions, and interpretations on religious matters.
And America signed a peace agreement with the Taliban in February in Qatar providing for the complete withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan by mid-2021.
Break the deadlock
In a related context, the President of the Supreme Council for National Reconciliation in Afghanistan Abdullah Abdullah said yesterday, Saturday, that the Afghan government and the Taliban are “very close” to breaking the deadlock in the peace talks, stressing at the same time that the military presence of US forces is still necessary.
“We have not moved towards discussing the main essence of the negotiations, the main agenda,” Abdullah said in an interview with Agence France-Presse during a visit to Turkey. But he added in an optimistic tone, “We are close, very close. We hope that we will pass this stage and reach the core issues,” including security.
Abdullah’s comments came the day after a prominent Taliban leader residing in Pakistan told AFP that “sufficient progress” had been made on the main points of contention.