Qatar and the United States signed an agreement this weekend under which Doha will represent and protect US diplomatic interests in Afghanistan. The foreign ministers of the two countries confirmed from Washington the partnership between them on regional issues.
During the joint press conference, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said: “Our partnership with Qatar is imperative on regional issues” and stressed that this partnership is broad and is reflected in a constructive dialogue on many issues in the region.
Blinken added that his country is in the process of setting up a unit within the Qatari Embassy in Afghanistan to provide US consular services.
The US Secretary of State affirmed that relations with Qatar are expanding and that events in Afghanistan have further strengthened the partnership between the two countries, while thanking His Highness the Emir of Qatar for his contribution in this regard.
Blinken also mentioned the preparations the two countries are making to celebrate the 50th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic relations, which have already reached their deepest level in history.
Meanwhile, the US Secretary of State said that his country is concerned about the movements of Russian forces on the Ukrainian border and the unknown intentions of Russia. He stressed that the US is also considering the necessary means to counter the use of immigration as a political tool (pressure).
Regarding the Syrian issue, Blinken underlined: “We are concerned about the signals sent by the visit of the UAE Foreign Minister to Damascus. We remind our partners of the crimes committed by the Syrian regime. “We do not support normalization with the Syrian government.”
As for the developments in Ethiopia, the US Secretary of State expressed concern about the possibility of an outbreak of the internal situation. “We are working to support mediation efforts between the parties there,” he said.
For his part, the Qatari Foreign Minister said that 2022 will be an extraordinary year in terms of reviving the milestones of US-Qatar relations. “Our relationship became closer when we worked with Washington and international partners to evacuate thousands of people from Kabul,” he said.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani assured that Qatar remains committed to taking the necessary actions to ensure stability in Afghanistan. He stressed that the priority is for international aid to reach the Afghan people, especially now with winter approaching.
Sheikh Al Thani also called on the Taliban to fulfill their obligations, while urging the international community to continue to engage in Afghanistan and not to abandon it. “Leaving Afghanistan would be a mistake. “Isolation of the country will not bring any solution there,” he underlined.
Regarding regional developments, the Qatari Foreign Minister said: “We are following with concern the escalation in Ethiopia and the instability in East Africa.”
Regarding the Syrian issue, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani assured that: “Currently we do not think of normalizing relations with the Assad regime. “We believe he should be held accountable for his crimes.”
On the other hand, the Qatari Minister said that “Iran is our neighbor and the relationship with it is not an obstacle in the way of our relations with the United States. “We do not agree with many of the Iranian policies, but that does not mean we should not talk to them.”
Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani also highlighted the leadership Qatar is playing in meeting the world’s energy needs.
The two countries’ foreign ministers then signed an agreement under which Qatar will represent and protect US diplomatic interests in Afghanistan.
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