Doha: US Secretary of State Anthony Blankenship arrived in Doha on Monday, an AFP correspondent saw after the Taliban claimed full control of Afghanistan before the crisis talks with Qatar.
Blanken, along with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, is the most senior U.S. official to visit the region since the Taliban’s August 15 occupation of Afghanistan and the end of Washington’s chaotic withdrawal.
“We are grateful for Qatar’s close cooperation with Afghanistan and for its invaluable assistance in facilitating the evacuation of US citizens, embassy staff in Kabul, at-risk Afghans and others from Qatar to Afghanistan,” the State Department said. ” .
Qatar, which hosts a major US airbase, has been the gateway to evacuate 55,000 people from Afghanistan, half of the total number evacuated by US-led forces since the Taliban seized power. Is.
Prior to his arrival, Blinken said in Qatar that he would “express our deep gratitude to all those who are working to support the evacuation efforts” and to meet the rescued Afghans.
He will also meet with US diplomats who have relocated work from the closed embassy in Kabul to Doha.
The State Department said Blankenship would hold talks with Qatar and Turkey to reopen Kabul’s Remishkal Airport – which is in dire need of humanitarian aid and to evacuate the remaining Afghans.
The Taliban on Monday claimed complete control of Afghanistan, saying they had won a key battle for the Panjshir Valley, the last remnants of resistance to their rule.