Qatar’s foreign minister urges Taliban to draw up strategic overview and roadmap

Photo: Qatar’s embassy in Brussels.

 Qatar’s Foreign Minister, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, has raised concerns over the absence of a clear roadmap for Afghanistan’s future following the return of the Taliban to power.

Speaking at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, Al Thani emphasized that without a “strategic overview and a roadmap,” issues in Afghanistan would not be resolved.

“The absence of the strategic overview and the roadmap for the way forward we will just keep trying to solve small problems and defer the bigger problems for the future which unfortunately might become very dangerous,” he said.

“We will not be able to progress as long as our efforts are just fragmented by trying to identify and address some tactical issues over the strategic issues in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, it will suffer from it in the near future whether it’s economic, or social and we have seen this throughout the last two years,” the Qatari official added.

Al Thani also emphasized the need for engagement with the Taliban, stating that disengagement with the Taliban will create a “bigger chaos and vacuum” in the country.

Qatar has consistently advocated for engagement with the Taliban, acting as a mediator and facilitating discussions between global stakeholders and the group.

Al Thani revealed that Qatar has continually engaged with the Taliban over the past two years, a sentiment echoed by the United States and NATO members.

“We strongly believe that disengaging with the Taliban will create a bigger chaos and will create a [power] vacuum in the country which unfortunately we are having from time to time,” he said.

However, the global community’s expectations from the Taliban have yet to be fully met, especially in terms of safeguarding human rights, including women’s rights, and establishing an inclusive government.

“The Taliban have yet to fulfill the international community’s demands and I don’t think that the Taliban are ready to comply with the demands of the international community in the short term. Therefore, there is no ground for international engagement with the Taliban,” Burna Salehi, an international relations analyst said.

The Taliban swept into power on August 15, 2021. However, no country has officially recognized the Taliban government so far.