WASHINGTON: US diplomats and defense chiefs on Friday announced a trip by Qatar and other allies to the crisis in Afghanistan as they seek to help more people than the Taliban rule.
Secretary of State Anthony Blanken will spend Monday and Tuesday in Qatar, the largest evacuation center for about 100,000 Afghans in the last days of the 20-year US military mission.
He will then head to Rammstein Air Force Base in Germany, which has become a temporary home for thousands of US Afghan allies since the fall of the US-backed government.
He said he would meet with German Foreign Minister Heiko Moss and then hold a virtual ministerial meeting of 20 countries on the crisis.
“All Afghans have a stake in helping to relocate and resettle Afghans and keep the Taliban on their promises,” Blanken told reporters.
The Pentagon says Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will leave Qatar on Sunday for a visit that will include Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, US military allies in the Gulf.
The Taliban, eager to continue foreign aid because they suddenly run a very poor country, have promised to let Afghans go. He is expected to name a government soon.
“There is an expectation that whatever government emerges now will have some real involvement and will include non-Taliban,” Blanken said.
Blinken said he was “deeply grateful” for Qatar’s efforts.
However, a senior State Department official said Blanken had no plans to meet with the Taliban, who have made the Gulf state their diplomatic base, from where they negotiated an evacuation agreement with former President Donald Trump’s administration. Of
“If it is appropriate for the Secretary of State to speak to a senior Taliban leader who is in our national interest, he will do so, but we are not at this stage,” the official said on condition of anonymity. “
Reassuring American allies
At home, Republican critics have predicted Biden’s withdrawal, but some U.S. allies, many of whom were happy to see Biden replace Trump, have also expressed concern.
Britain’s Secretary of Defense Ben Wallace suggested that the United States was no longer a superpower, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s ruling party leader and successor, Armin Laschitt, called the Afghanistan mission the biggest defeat in NATO history.
Like Trump, Biden argued that nothing more could be achieved from America’s longest war, which killed nearly 2,250 Americans as well as many Afghans in the 20 years since the September 11 attacks.
Blinken said the madness to blow up Afghans was due to the inaction of the Trump administration, which vehemently opposed non-European immigration and implemented a visa program for Afghan translators and others assisting the US mission. Closed on
Blanken visited an evacuation center at Washington International Airport in Dolce, Virginia, on Thursday, where more than 26,000 Afghans left for new life after clearing the screening.
In an exhibition center the size of an airport hangar, temporary rooms were set up with curtains to separate the rows of beds with blue blankets as the children moved around nearby.
“It’s a limitation – some are gone, some are traumatized.
The top US diplomat, the stepdaughter of a Holocaust survivor, has long been an advocate for refugees and appeared emotional about his visit.
“We throw in a lot of data, but each one was a mother, a father, a son, a daughter, a parent, a grandparent,” Blanken said.
Welcoming the refugees, Blinken said, “It’s part of our DNA.”