UPDATED 5:20 PM PT – Friday, November 12, 2021
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken secured a proxy in the Middle East to represent America’s interests in Afghanistan.
Meeting with his counterpart in Qatar on Friday, Blinken said Qatar will act as America’s “protecting power.” This means the Gulf State will act on behalf of American diplomats in the country when it comes to getting stranded Americans out of Afghanistan.
Additionally, Qatari diplomats will mediate negotiations between the U.S. and Taliban. Secretary Blinken stressed the move aims to bolster relations with the Middle Eastern country in the aftermath from America’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Feeling especially grateful today for our partners in #AfghanEvac. Your coalition’s dedication to our allies and partners, your compassion, and your spirit make us all proud to work with you. Thank you for your service.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) November 11, 2021
“It reflects a powerful reality, which is the growing strength of the relationship between the United States and Qatar, expanding shared security and economic interests, cooperation on many regional challenges, and growing people to people ties, among other things,” said Blinken. “The events in Afghanistan over the past couple months reinforce that partnership.”
In the meantime, the remaining Americans and allies stranded in Afghanistan have been advised to coordinate evacuation efforts with Qatari officials.