Blinken is visiting Qatar

With the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, Qatar has become the main mediator between Western nations and the Taliban

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken arrived in Qatar on Monday, where he will seek support for efforts to evacuate the remaining Americans and Afghans at risk in Afghanistan.

A senior State Department official accompanying Blinken told reporters that Washington helped four other Americans safely leave Afghanistan by land.

“This is the first land evacuation assisted by the State Department,” the source said, adding that the Taliban were aware of the operation and did not obstruct it.

The official did not specify to which country the U.S. citizens left.

Blinken’s trip to Qatar and Germany, which greatly assisted Washington in evacuating thousands of people from Kabul, is being called a “thank-you tour.” The secretary of state will meet with senior officials from both countries, and Germany will also attend a ministerial meeting on Afghanistan.

Since the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, Qatar has become the main mediator between the Taliban and Western countries.

Doha said Saturday that Kabul airport had reopened for humanitarian aid and domestic flights. This was made possible by Qatar’s efforts in coordination with the Taliban. International flights are expected to resume shortly.

Daily flights are scheduled from Doha to Kabul to deliver aid.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who is embarking on a separate tour of the Persian Gulf, will also visit Qatar on Tuesday. Austin’s trip also includes Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.