Pak PM Imran meets Qatar’s Emir ahead of signing of US-Taliban peace deal
Islamabad, Feb 27: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan met Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani in Doha on Thursday, just two days prior to the signing of a landmark peace deal between the US and the Taliban in the Gulf nation’s capital to end the brutal war in Afghanistan.
Qatar’s Energy Minister Saad Sheirda Al-Kaabi received Khan at the airport.
“Arrival at Daiwan-e-Amiri & Meeting with Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani,” Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party said in a tweet accompanied by a short video of the meeting.
Earlier, the Pakistan Foreign Office said in a statement the focus of Khan’s visit will be on “strengthening the bilateral cooperation and exchanging views on regional developments”.
This is the second visit of Prime Minister Khan to Qatar after taking office in 2018.
The Emir of Qatar visited Pakistan in June 2019 and the trip resulted in strengthening the bilateral economic collaboration in diverse areas, the statement said.
Khan’s visit comes as the US is set to sign a historic peace deal with the Taliban on Saturday provided that a week-long reduction in violence across Afghanistan holds.
The Taliban has also confirmed the plan to sign the peace deal that day.
Qatar has invited Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to attend the peace deal signing ceremony in Doha.
US President Donald Trump said on Monday in India that the landmark Afghan peace deal had received “tremendous support”.
Trump’s remarks came after the US and the Afghan Taliban started a seven-day partial truce ahead of the possible peace deal to end more than 18-year-long war.
The longstanding war has killed tens of thousands of civilians and Afghanistan remains one of the poorest countries in the world. Some 2.5 million Afghans are registered as refugees abroad and another two million are displaced within their country.
The agreement struck during talks between the US and the Taliban, if maintained, may secure a peace deal that would lead to a withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, fulfilling a campaign promise of President Trump.
The US currently has reportedly less than 14,000 troops in Afghanistan.