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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Afghan university students transferred to Qatar campus


The Gulf state has evacuated thousands of Afghans and foreigners from the country since the Taliban took over Kabul on 15 August.

Qatar transferred students, staff and faculty from the American University of Afghanistan [AUAF] to Doha on Sunday on the ninth passenger evacuation flight from Kabul.

The transfer of the students comes just weeks after Qatar announced plans to open AUAF campuses in the capital, as per an agreement signed earlier this month between Qatar Foundation [QF] and Qatar Fund for Development [QFFD].

This allows AUAF students, all of whom will be provided student accommodation in Doha, to pursue their studies without disruptions in a diverse educational community.

All other passengers onboard the flight have been transported to one of the housing units being used to temporarily host Afghan and foreign evacuees in Doha while awaiting flights to their final destinations.

FIFA, Qatar team up to evacuate ‘at risk’ Afghan football players

The latest flight carried 353 passengers, including citizens from the US, the Netherlands, Denmark, Australia and several others. It was one of the largest such flights to depart Kabul since 31 August.

“The State of Qatar will continue to work with international partners on efforts that ensure freedom of movement in Afghanistan, including through serving as an active mediator between various parties,” said a senior Qatari government official.

The official also said Doha will continue to provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan while promoting peace and stability in the country.

Qatar has been at the forefront of evacuations since the Taliban took over Kabul on 15 August following rapid consecutive territorial gains. Since then, Doha has carried out the largest airlift of people in history, evacuating more than 50,000 Afghans and foreigners.

On Sunday, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani held a phone call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in which the two discussed the latest developments in Afghanistan.

I spoke today with Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs [Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani] about Afghanistan. We are deeply appreciative of Qatar’s continued support and our strong bilateral partnership,” said Blinken in a Tweet.

The Gulf state has been playing a key role throughout the Afghan peace process, holding direct talks between the US and the Taliban and the intra-Afghan talks between the former Afghan government and the militants.

“Qatar has played a key role in assisting the evacuations of American citizens and others who were in danger. It has committed to being an active player in Afghanistan and continues to host this round of peace talks,” Ambassador Nathan Sales, the former coordinator for counter-terrorism within the US Department of State, said in an interview with Lusail News on Sunday.

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