Qatar hosted Taliban reconciliation talks on U.S. request: Qahtani

| Updated: Jun 15, 2017 00:12 IST

Kabul [Afghanistan], June 14 (ANI): Frustrated with the U.S. allegations of its alleged involvement in supporting "terrorism", Qatar has cited the examples how it tried and hosted the reconciliation talks with Taliban to bring peace in Afghanistan. "Qatar hosted the Taliban reconciliation talks with the Afghan government on the request from the United States but now U.S. President Donald Trump along with a number of Arab regimes, has accused Doha of supporting extremist groups," Mutlaq al-Qahtani, a senior counterterrorism adviser to Qatar's foreign minister said. Qatar hosted the Taliban "by request by the US government" and as part of Qatar's "open-door policy, to facilitate talks, to mediate and to bring peace," Tolo News quoted Mutlaq al-Qahtani, as saying. Qatari counterterrorism adviser has insisted that Doha allowed Taliban to open an office in 2013 as a part of their efforts to mediate and bring peace in Afghanistan, but the Qatari government later shut it down. While Taliban leaders are still said to be in Doha. Qahtani also told that Qatar "was facilitating the talks between the Americans, the Taliban, and the government of Afghanistan." It is believed that when US President Donald Trump supported Arab countries to "isolate" governments supporting "terrorism" and even accused Iran of de-stabilizing the Middle East region, the Trump's move has emboldened the Saudi rulers to pursue their policies more aggressively, including by assailing Qatar. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, the Maldives, and Egypt snapped their diplomatic ties with Qatar over accusations that the Qatari government sponsors extremist groups, including the Taliban. The regional countries have also suspended all land, air, and sea traffic with Qatar. Qatar has however rejected the accusations that it supports extremism, and the country's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdurrahman Al Thani has said, "Doha would not "surrender" under political pressure." The U.S. has a military base in Qatar, which it says is crucial to its operations in the Middle East. Meanwhile, Kuwait is acting as a mediator to resolve the crisis and Qatar has agreed to listen to the concerns of Gulf Arab states. "Kuwait affirms the readiness of the brothers in Qatar to understand the reality of the qualms and concerns of their brothers and to heed the noble endeavours to enhance security and stability," Kuwait's state news agency KUNA quoted Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid al-Sabah as saying. (ANI)