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Qatar urges Taliban to combat 'terrorism’ as Netherlands moves Kabul mission to Doha

Qatar's foreign minister says it's is crucial the Taliban allow 'safe passage' for countries evacuating people from Afghanistan
Dutch Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag (L) and her Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani give a press conference in Doha on 1 September 2021 (AFP)

Qatar has urged the Taliban to "combat terrorism" following the group's capture of Afghanistan last month.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, the Gulf state's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said that there needed to be an inclusive government in Afghanistan to tackle the ongoing threat from militant groups.

"We stressed the importance of cooperation to combat terrorism... and we stressed the importance of the Taliban to cooperate in this field," he said, following a meeting with his German counterpart, Heiko Maas.

"It is our role to always urge [the Taliban] to have an expanded government that includes all parties and not to exclude any party."

He added that it was crucial that the Taliban allowed "safe passage" for those who wanted to leave Afghanistan.

Relocation to Doha

His comments come as the Netherlands announced it would be moving its Kabul diplomatic mission to Doha, following similar moves by the US and UK.

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"I've asked his excellency to very kindly agree to the relocation of the Netherlands embassy from Kabul to Doha," Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag told journalists after meeting her Qatari counterpart in Doha on Wednesday.

The Taliban seized control of Afghanistan's capital earlier this month as the United States and its allies withdrew troops after nearly two decades of conflict.

The international community has scrabbled to evacuate its people from the country, fearing reprisals by the Taliban.

While some countries have kept diplomatic staff in the capital Kabul, a number of countries have said they would relocate to Doha.

“We have had to leave Afghanistan for now and the embassy will operate from Qatar for the time being,” said the UK's ambassador to Afghanistan, Laurie Bristow, upon his arrival back to London on Sunday.

“But we will continue to stand by the people of Afghanistan, working on humanitarian, diplomatic and security work and above all bringing to the UK Afghans and British nationals who still need our support, and we will be putting pressure on the Taliban to allow safe passage for those people."

The Gulf states, including Qatar, the UAE, Kuwait, and Bahrain, have been critical staging posts for flights evacuating Western citizens as well as Afghan interpreters and journalists.