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World Macron thanks Qatar for Afghan evacuations

11:44  04 december  2021
11:44  04 december  2021 Source:   afp.com

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"I thank Qatar for the role it has played since the start of the crisis, and which permitted the organisation of several evacuations ," said Macron , before heading to Saudi Arabia for the final leg of his two-day Gulf tour. Macron met on Friday evening with Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani. A flight chartered by Paris flew out the 258 Afghans who were "particularly threatened because of their activities, especially journalists, or because of their links to France, including former locally-recruited civilian personnel for our armies," the French foreign ministry said on Friday.

At Al Udeid, Afghan families evacuated by the US waited for hours in poorly ventilated, humid hangars in the middle of the desert with inadequate cooling. Photos and video footage shared with Al Jazeera showed hundreds of Afghans crowded together in unsanitary conditions in a hangar at the US airbase in Qatar. Members of US Congress write directly to #Qatar 's Emir to thank him for Qatar's force multiplying role in # Afghanistan : "The United States will not forget that Americans and our partners were escorted safely by the Qatari ambassador through the streets of Kabul" pic.twitter.com/r3scsYjjif.

French President Emmanuel Macron, on a visit to the Gulf, expressed appreciation to Qatar on Saturday for helping to organise the latest evacuation to France of more than 250 threatened Afghans.

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (R) receives French President Emmanuel Macron (L) at the Amiri Diwan in the capital Doha on December 3, 2021 © Thomas SAMSON Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani (R) receives French President Emmanuel Macron (L) at the Amiri Diwan in the capital Doha on December 3, 2021

Qatar has played a significant role both in diplomacy and evacuations at the end of a 20-year war in Afghanistan by Western nations.

"I thank Qatar for the role it has played since the start of the crisis, and which permitted the organisation of several evacuations," said Macron, before heading to Saudi Arabia for the final leg of his two-day Gulf tour.

Afghan girl from famous National Geographic cover is evacuated to Italy

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‘Qatar’s evacuation mission to continue’ Qatar’s evacuation missions in Afghanistan will continue, HE the Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Lolwah bint Rashid AlKhater has said. Responding to a tweet by Clarissa Ward, chief international correspondent of CNN about thousands of people being stuck at the Kabul airport, HE AlKhater tweeted: “I can only speak on Qatar evacuation missions, they will continue! In the past 72 hours, we evacuated over 300 mostly female students & over 200 media personnel; many of them with their

Macron , who spoke in Baghdad where he was attending a summit with several Middle Eastern leaders, said France was also discussing with Qatar how it might re-establish a pathway for Afghan evacuations , though nothing was yet certain. "We have begun having discussions, which are very fragile and preliminary, with the Taliban on the issue of humanitarian operations and the ability to protect and repatriate Afghans who are at risk," Macron told a news conference.

Macron met on Friday evening with Qatar's emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.

A flight chartered by Paris flew out the 258 Afghans who were "particularly threatened because of their activities, especially journalists, or because of their links to France, including former locally-recruited civilian personnel for our armies," the French foreign ministry said on Friday.

The same flight carried 11 French nationals and about 60 from The Netherlands, along with dependents.

The ministry said that since September 10, 110 French nationals and their dependents as well as 396 Afghans have been evacuated on 10 flights organised by Qatar.

"We are going to continue," Macron said.

Around half of the 124,000 Westerners and Western-allied Afghans flown out of Afghanistan in the waning days of the US-led military involvement in Afghanistan transited through Qatar.

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Evacuation flights from Kabul airport have restarted after a brief pause of several hours due to overcrowding at a staging base in Qatar, the Pentagon said on Friday. President Joe Biden has said he could not guarantee the outcome of the emergency evacuation from Kabul’s airport, calling it “The American president also expressed gratitude to his highness for Qatar’s contributions to the operation to evacuate civilians and its efforts in the peace process in Afghanistan ,” the statement added. 20 Aug 2021 - 20:50 GMT. Pentagon: Evacuation delay in Kabul caused by crowding at US base in Qatar.

Blinken thanked Qatar for its role in continuing talks and providing the necessary assistance in the process of the evacuation process in Afghanistan . The two sides stressed the importance of protecting civilians, intensifying efforts to achieve a national reconciliation, and working on a comprehensive political settlement to ensure a peaceful transition of power in light of the gains the people of Afghanistan have achieved.

Several European countries are considering opening a common site for diplomatic representation in the country's capital, Kabul, after the departure of their ambassadors following the capital's fall to the Islamist extremist Taliban in August, Macron said.

Qatar has long hosted a Taliban political office.

After his stay overnight Friday in Qatar, the world's biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, Macron was heading to the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah on Saturday.

Macron will become one of the first Western leaders to meet the kingdom's de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, since the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Speaking in Dubai, the first stop on his tour, Macron said he had not forgotten Khashoggi but it was impossible to engage with the region while ignoring the powerful Saudis.

The United Arab Emirates signed a record 14-billion-euro ($15.8 billion) contract for 80 Rafale warplanes at the start of Macron's visit

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Macron finishes his tour in the Gulf by meeting the Saudi Crown Prince .
The Prince Heir Mohammed Ben Salmane, the strong man of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, welcomed the French president in the early afternoon in the Royal Palace of the great Saudi port city. © bandar Algaloud / Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court / Handout Emmanuel Macron arrived Saturday in Jeddah, on the west coast of Saudi Arabia, to chat with the Prince heir Mohammed Ben Salmane of the "Stability" in the Middle East and the situation in Lebanon.

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