Dutch delegation met with the Taliban in Qatar, reports Afghan TV
A delegation from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Qatar had consultations with the Taliban, the new regime in Afghanistan, according to an Afghan television station. Caretaker Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag was in that Gulf Arab State on Wednesday.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs refused to comment about it.
The Taliban have representation in Qatar, a country which has had close contact with the Taliban. The TV station TOLONews reported, based on claims from a Taliban spokesman, that Deputy Head Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanekzai discussed the situation in Afghanistan with the Dutch delegation. Travel options and the operation of the Kabul airport were also discussed.
More European countries have already spoken to the Taliban. The Cabinet has always said that it will not rule out contact with the new leaders in Kabul in order to represent Dutch interests. However, the Cabinet emphasized that a meeting with the Taliban does not mean recognition of the regime as the new ruling government of Afghanistan.
Kaag is currently on a tour through the region to talk about developments in Afghanistan. The minister also announced in Qatar that the Dutch embassy in Kabul will be temporarily moved to Doha. The embassy in Kabul will reopen as soon as the security situation permits it to happen.
There are still many people in Afghanistan who want to leave the country. This concerns Dutch people, but also Afghans who have helped the Dutch mission, those who assisted Dutch journalists and development organisations, among others.
The Netherlands managed to evacuate more than 2,500 people from Kabul. Some 1,600 of them are still in the Netherlands. More than 13,000 Afghans have now reported to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressing a wish to come to the Netherlands. They say they are eligible for evacuation. Political insiders confirmed reports from De Telegraaf about this.
Reporting by ANP