The United States has commended Qatar for its ongoing support for peace in Afghanistan following this week’s meeting between the Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defense Affairs Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah and the US’s Department of State South and Central Asian Affairs Senior Bureau Official Alice Wells.
According to Qatar’s The Peninsula daily, the two officials discussed recent progress toward an Afghan-owned, and Afghan-led peace process, and pledged to continue both countries’ efforts toward combating terrorism and promoting regional peace and stability.
Wells welcomed the Qatari government’s support for the cease-fire last month in Afghanistan, and highlighted the deep appreciation of the United States for the Qatari government’s constructive partnership and dedication to Afghanistan, read the report.
Earlier, the US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert, tweeted “appreciation for Qatar's constructive partnership, dedication and ongoing support for peace in Afghanistan”
Addressing a press briefing late Monday Nauert confirmed that Wells attended meetings in Qatar and met with Al Attiyah, along with other high-ranking officials.
Nauert said: “I can tell you that our senior bureau official for SCA, Alice Wells, is returning today from Doha, Qatar, and that's where she's been meeting with the - she met with the deputy prime minister. She also met with other government officials to talk about their contributions to the situation in Afghanistan.
“Qatar has been an important and valuable partner in that. They have helped with training and equipping, they have helped with supplies, things of that nature that are obviously needed by coalition partners to help facilitate what is going on right there.
“So Alice is returning. She's had good meetings. And part of the reason she went there was to commend the government for their ongoing support for peace in Afghanistan,” said Nauert.
In her press conference, Nauert also answered a question on the return of First Vice President Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum.
She said the Dostum issue was for the Afghan government to deal with.
“… reports about General Dostum returning to Afghanistan, we would see that largely as an internal matter for the Government of Afghanistan to handle. We're certainly aware of the reports,” she said.
In addition she passed on her condolences to the those affected by Sunday’s suicide bombing that killed over 20 people shortly after Dostum’s return.
“I just want to say how gravely sorry the United States Government is for the loss of life that took place in the terror attack on - I believe it was on Sunday that killed about 14 people, I believe it was.”
“We want to send our deepest condolences to the government.”
Referring to the recent successful ceasefire over Eid al-Fitr, Nauert said: “I know some folks in the media and around the world have pooh-poohed that ceasefire that lasted a few days, but our view on this, if you can get a ceasefire that lasts a few days, perhaps you could get another one that lasts a little bit longer, and that gives the people of Afghanistan hope.”