Qatar’s foreign minister has warned that the isolation of the Taliban could lead to further instability and urged countries to enter into talks with the movement to address security and socio-economic concerns in Afghanistan.
“If we start setting conditions and stopping this commitment, we will leave a gap, and the question is: who is going to fill this gap?” Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said on Tuesday in Doha’s German counterpart, Heiko Maas.
The US allied Gulf Arab state has emerged as a key Taliban ally, and has hosted the group’s political office since 2013.
No country has recognized the Taliban as the government of Afghanistan after capturing Kabul on August 15. Many Western states have encouraged the group to form an inclusive government and to respect human rights.
“We believe that without involvement we cannot achieve … real progress on the security front or on the socio-economic front,” Sheikh Mohammed said, adding that recognizing the Taliban as a government was not a priority.
The Qatari foreign minister also warned against the rise of ‘terrorism’ after the US withdrawal and called for an inclusive government.
“It is our role to always encourage them (the Taliban) to have a comprehensive government that includes all parties and excludes no party.
“During our talks with the Taliban, there was no positive or negative reaction,” al-Thani said, referring to recent talks between Qatar and the new rulers of Afghanistan.
Taliban fighters celebrated with gunfire on Tuesday, hours after the last US forces left Kabul, and closed an insane airlift operation in which more than 123,000 foreign nationals and Afghans fled.
Germany sees ‘no way out’ with Taliban talks
Maas, for his part, said he saw “no way” to talk to the Taliban.
“I personally believe that there is absolutely no way to talk to the Taliban because we can absolutely not afford to have instability in Afghanistan,” he said.
‘It will help terrorism and have a huge negative effect on neighboring countries.
“We are not looking at questions about formal recognition, but we want to solve the existing problems – with regard to the people in Afghanistan, the German citizens, but also the local staff who want to leave the country.”
Earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the airport in Kabul was open to “existential interest”, as Western countries were now considering how to get more people out of the country.
Talks are continuing on who will now run the airport in Kabul.
U.S. officials said the airport is in poor condition, with much of the basic infrastructure weakened or destroyed.
The Taliban has asked Turkey to handle logistics while maintaining security control, but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appears to have poured cold water on the idea on Sunday.
Marwan Bishara, senior political analyst at Al Jazeera, said there appeared to be an emerging plan to mitigate a post-war crisis.
“The roadmap is needed to stabilize Afghanistan and avoid any strategic, political or military gap, as well as the emergence of extremist terrorist groups,” he said.
Bishara said elements of the plan, such as demands at the airport and the formation of an inclusive government, would be monitored before the world powers send aid to the Taliban.
The US invaded Afghanistan and overthrew its Taliban government in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks by al-Qaeda, which accused the US of Afghanistan.
Western capitals fear that Afghanistan could once again become a haven for armed groups that want to attack them.
Qatar, the UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain have played an important role in evacuation flights for citizens of Western countries, as well as Afghan interpreters, journalists and others.
The United Kingdom and the United States have said they will operate their Afghan missions from Doha.