UAE Reportedly Sought to Host Taliban Embassy but Eventually Lost to Qatar

Sputnik News

21:20 01.08.2017

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) competed with Qatar for the support of the United States to host the embassy of the Taliban terrorist group (outlawed in many countries, including Russia,) media reported, citing emails leaked by the Global Leaks anonymous hacker group.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Senior leaders of Taliban currently reside in Doha-based Taliban office opened in 2013. The original purpose for the presence of the leaders of the Taliban in Qatar was the organization of reconciliation talks between them and Afghanistan, the United States and other countries. However, shortly after the opening, the Taliban's office was shut down by Qatari authorities. Some Taliban leaders remain in Doha, but the peace negotiations have come to a halt, and their office is no longer operable.

"There is an article in the London Times that mentions US is backing setting up a Taliban embassy in Doha," UAE diplomat Mohamed Mahmoud Khaja wrote to Jeffrey Feltman, then-Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs, in an email dated September 12, 2011, as quoted by the Newsweek.

Khaja said then that UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan had been impressed that Abu Dhabi had been the first choice of the US, adding that UAE was informed about it by the United Nations envoy to Afghanistan.

In a separate email dated January 28, 2012, UAE Ambassador to the United States Yousef al-Otaiba addressed to other US official about similar complaints from bin Zayed, saying he had got an angry call from the minister. "They [Qataris] want to be in the middle of everything those guys. So let them, it will eventually come back to… them," he wrote, as quoted by the newspaper.

The publication said that three former US officials had confirmed this week that the UAE had wanted to host the Taliban embassy.

Afghanistan has long been suffering from unstable political, social and security situation due to the activity of the Daesh terrorist group (banned in Russia) and the Taliban. The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces are currently conducting joint offensive operations to combat terrorism across the country.

In June, the UAE, along with Bahrain, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, cut off diplomatic relations with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism and interfering in their internal affairs, handing over a list of demands to Doha. Qatar refuted all accusations and refused to comply with the demands.


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