Qatar to Mediate with Taliban

I find this interesting. Qatar was also involved in the now-failed peace agreement between Yemen and the al-Houthis… Apparently Sheikh Hamad fancies himself the Jessie Jackson of Arabia. Wonder if we’ll see Taliban leaders granted assylum in Qatar as well?  

SEOUL, Aug. 27 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s Foreign Minister Song Min-soon appealed Monday to Qatar for help in resolving the six-week-old standoff over 19 South Korean hostages in Afghanistan, government officials said.

Twenty-three South Korean aid workers were taken hostage by Taliban insurgents while traveling by bus from the Afghan capital, Kabul, to the southern city of Kandahar on July 19. The kidnappers later shot dead two male hostages but set free two female captives.

Song, on a visit to Qatar, paid a courtesy call on the country’s emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, and conveyed a letter from President Roh Moo-hyun asking for the Middle Eastern country’s cooperation in efforts to secure the release of the hostages at an early date, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said.

In response, the Qatari monarch promised to make whatever efforts necessary to facilitate the release, according to the ministry.

Song’s visit to Qatar came after he met with Saudi Arabian King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud in Jedda on Saturday to seek the country’s help in resolving the hostage crisis.

In an interview with the Arab news network Al Jazeera after his meeting with Emir Hamad, Song said he and Islamic leaders shared the view that holding hostages runs counter to Islamic teachings, saying the South Korean hostages went to Afghanistan on an aid mission.

In Saturday’s meeting with Song, the Saudi king denounced Taliban militants for violating the Islamic principles of upholding peace, friendliness and leniency by kidnapping the South Koreans. – Yonhap

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