Qatar Hosted Taliban at Washington’s Request

Qatar Hosted Taliban at Washington’s RequestQatar Hosted Taliban at Washington’s Request

Qatar hosted the Taliban at the request of the United States government, the Qatari foreign minister’s special envoy on counterterrorism told Aljazeera.

Mutlaq Al Qahtani said the Persian Gulf country hosted the Taliban at the “request of the US government” and as part of Qatar’s “open-door policy, to facilitate talks, to mediate and to bring peace.

He added that Qatar “was facilitating the talks between the Americans, the Taliban and the government of Afghanistan.”

There was no immediate comment from the US.

The Taliban opened its “political office” in Qatar in 2013.

Al Qahtani’s statement comes after US President Donald Trump accused Qatar of “historically” funding “terrorism at a very high level”—an allegation denied by Qatar.

The US president has not provided any evidence for his accusation. On Friday, Trump called on Qatar and other countries in the region “to do more [to combat terrorism] and do it faster”.

The US president was weighing in on an ongoing diplomatic rift between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and other Arab countries.

Saudi Arabia and its allies have cut ties with Qatar, alleging it is “harboring a multitude of terrorist and sectarian groups”, a claim Qatari officials have repeatedly denied and called “unjustified” and having “no basis in fact”.

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