On 12th November 2021, the United States and Qatar decided that Doha will be representing the diplomatic interests of the United States in Afghanistan. Since the early days, Qatar has been working towards promoting regional stability. The accord about the same came after a Qatari delegation travelled to Washington to hold talks between the two nations. The agreement comes as the United States and other Western countries still are holding talks and deciding on how to engage with the hardline Islamists after they took over Afghanistan in a lightning advance in August of this year as U.S.-led forces were completed their evacuation process. The United States and other Western countries had their embassies shut down and withdrew their diplomats as the Taliban seized Kabul, following which the group declared an interim government whose top members have been under the United States and United Nations sanctions. But with the urgent need to solve regional instability and the country’s inclination towards increasing humanitarian crisis, it became more and more important for major powers to act on the situation.
According to the statement by Antony Blinken, the United States Secretary of State, “Qatar will establish a U.S. interest section within its embassy in Afghanistan to provide certain consular services and monitor the condition and security of U.S. diplomatic facilities in Afghanistan.” Further, he praised Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani stating that “Let me again say how grateful we are for your leadership, your support on Afghanistan, but also to note that our partnership is much broader than that.”
The agreement will come into effect from the 31st December 2021 according to which Qatar will dedicate certain staff from its embassy in Afghanistan to a U.S. Interests Section and will coordinate closely with the U.S. State Department and with the U.S. mission in Doha. The United States will also continue its engagement with the Taliban’s political office in the Qatari capital, Doha.
Anthony Blinken has praised Qatar not only for helping with the ongoing evacuations of the American citizen, green card holders and SIV applicants but also their dedication to establish peace and stability in the region. Further, in a second agreement, Qatar will temporarily host around 8,000 Afghans who have applied for special immigrants vias (SIV) with their family members.