Reuters was first to report on Friday that the United States and Qatar had struck an agreement for Qatar to become the U.S. diplomatic representative in Afghanistan, which is being ruled by the Taliban government that Washington does not recognize. Reuters revealed that Qatar would dedicate some of its staff at its Kabul embassy to set up a U.S. Special Interests section which will work closely with the U.S. State Department and the U.S. mission in Doha. The move is an important first step as Washington looks ahead on how to increase engagement with the Taliban without granting it the legitimacy it seeks. It also comes at a critical time when Western states are grappling with how to deal with the Taliban to help impoverished Afghanistan. The Reuters report was confirmed two hours later by the U.S. and Qatar’s official announcement of the landmark decision.
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