Qatar says it will assist Kabul evacuation effort

Foreign minister says Doha is making “all efforts” to evacuate citizens

Afghan families walk by the aircraft at Kabul airport in Kabul on August 16, 2021, after a stunningly swift end to Afghanistan's 20-year war. Getty
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Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said on Monday that his country was doing everything it could to help people leave Afghanistan.

Qatar is one of a few countries of the world with influence over the Taliban, who took control of the capital Kabul on Sunday.

Thousands of people have been trying to flee the insurgents' advance into the capital through the city's international airport.

“We are trying with all efforts to help our international partners to ensure safe passage of diplomats and other organisations,” Mr Abdulrahman said on a visit to Amman, Jordan.

Mr Abdulrahman did not give details.

He said Qatar “is doing its utmost for there to be preparations for a comprehensive political solution and a complete ceasefire”.

“There is international concern about the fast pace of developments,” Mr Abdulrahman said after meeting Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi in Amman.

The Taliban have an office in Doha, where Washington negotiated a US troop withdrawal deal last year on the condition that the insurgents respected a political transition towards a power-sharing agreement.

Several people were reported to have died at Kabul airport on Monday as shots were fired. A stampede was also reported and at least two people were seen falling to their deaths after attempting to cling on to a cargo plane as it took off.

Updated: August 17, 2021, 6:33 AM