Qatar hosted Taliban on US request: Official

Asia Middle East Forum

A senior Qatari official says Qatar hosted the Taliban militant group based on a request from the United States, whose president, along with a number of Arab regimes, has been pressuring Doha over what they say is its support for extremist groups.

Mutlaq al-Qahtani, a senior counterterrorism adviser to Qatar’s foreign minister, told Al Jazeera on Sunday that 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.”

The Taliban opened a “political office” in Qatar in 2013, but the Qatari government later shut it down. Taliban leaders are still said to be in Doha, however.

Qatar has come under intense pressure from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, the Maldives, and Egypt — all of which have broken off ties with Doha — and the US over accusations that the Qatari…

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