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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

France’s Macron thanks Qatar for Afghan evacuations during Doha trip


French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his thanks to Qatar in an official visit to the Gulf state.

French President Emmanuel Macron paid an official visit to Qatar On Saturday, where he expressed appreciation to the Gulf state for its contribution in organising the latest evacuation of over 250 to France.

Much is owed to Qatar for playing a crucial role, both in diplomacy and evacuations, after US and foreign troops withdrew from Afghanistan in August, ending the 20 year war.

Qatar, Turkey discuss Afghanistan humanitarian aid in talks with Taliban

“I thank Qatar for the role it has played since the start of the crisis, and which permitted the organisation of several evacuations,” said the French president. Macron met with Qatar’s amir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on Friday.

A French-charted flight flew out 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,” said the French foreign ministry on Friday.

The flight also included 11 French nationals and around 60 Dutch nationals along with their dependents.

Since September, 110 French nationals and their dependents, as well as 396 Afghans, have been evacuated on flights organised by Qatar, according to the French foreign ministry.

Over 60,000 Western nationals and Western-allied Afghans flown out of Afghanistan transited through Qatar.

Several western nations may open a common site for diplomatic missions in Kabul after the departure of their ambassadors following the capital’s fall to the Taliban in August according to Macron.

Macron has since left to Qatar to head to Saudi Arabia for the final leg of his two-day Gulf tour.

The French president has become one of the first western leaders to meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman since the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi who was killed inside the kingdom’s consulate in Turkey.

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