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Taliban say Qatar will act as ‘bridge’ between group, international community

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Qatar will act as a “bridge” of foreign relations between the Taliban and the international community, group member Saaed Khosti said on Monday.

Doha has become a key broker in Afghanistan after the Taliban seized control of the country on August 15 and the US withdrew all its forces on August 31, ending more than 20 years of American presence in the country.

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The Gulf country has also long acted as a mediator on Afghanistan, hosting the Taliban talks in Doha with the US under former President Donald Trump, and then with the now deposed Afghan government of President Ashraf Ghani.

Qatar’s Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani was in Afghanistan on Sunday, meeting top officials in the Taliban’s newly appointed government.

His meeting focused on “importance of advancing national reconciliation, ensuring freedom of passage and travel for all, and providing guarantees for the rights and safety of the Afghan people,” according to the Qatari foreign ministry.

There were no details disclosed on whether there were talks involving the recognition of the Taliban government by the international community.

The group’s spokesman had said on Saturday that the Taliban saw “positive signs” pointing to the international community recognizing the group’s government “soon”.

No country has recognized the Taliban as a government of Afghanistan and the White House has denied last month any chance of rushing to recognize the legitimacy of the Taliban government by the US or its allies.

Qatar, however, urged against isolating the Taliban.

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