Afghanistan: The two countries offering ‘lifeline’ to the Taliban

  • Tom Batman
  • BBC Middle East Correspondent

Qatar's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani, meets Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, head of the Taliban's political cabinet, in Doha, Qatar (August 17, 2021)

Credit, Reuters

Photo caption,

Taliban political leader Abdul Ghani Baradar (left) met Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani in August

The Taliban celebrated with a shooting in Kabul the departure of Americans and citizens of other countries from Afghanistan this week. But this militancy does not hide the fact that the group is globally isolated. On the other side, millions of Afghans are afflicted with a future that is still uncertain.

The world powers are now struggling to exert influence amid the radical group’s return to power. And in the process, two nations from the Arab and Muslim world emerged as mediators and facilitators: Qatar and Turkey.

Both are capitalizing on recent access to the Taleban. But the two countries are also taking risks, which could even intensify old rivalries even more distant, in the Middle East.

Authorities in Qatar, a small gas-rich country in the Gulf, have provided aid to countries trying to get out of Afghanistan.