The visit to the prime minister of Taliban-ruled Afghanistan is the highest-level foreign visit to Kabul since the group seized the capital last month.

Qatar's Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman called upon the country's new rulers to
Qatar's Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman called upon the country's new rulers to "involve all Afghan parties in national reconciliation". (Hamad I Mohammed / Reuters)

Qatar's foreign minister has held talks with the prime minister of Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, in the highest-level foreign visit to Kabul since the group seized the capital last month.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani on Sunday called upon the country's new rulers to "involve all Afghan parties in national reconciliation" when he met Prime Minister Mullah Muhammad Hasan Akhund, Qatar's Foreign Ministry said.

Qatar is considered one of the countries with the most influence over the Taliban and played a pivotal role in the massive US-led airlift of its own citizens, other Western nationals and Afghans who helped Western countries.

The Qatari capital Doha also hosted the Taliban's political office, which oversaw the negotiations with the United States that eventually led to the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan.

Sheikh Mohammed and new premier Akhund also discussed "concerted efforts to combat terrorist organisations that threaten the stability of Afghanistan", ways to enhance peace in the country and the safe passage of people, according to the Qatar ministry.

Sheikh Mohammed met the prime minister and a number of other senior ministers, a Taliban spokesperson said.

"The meeting focused on bilateral relations, humanitarian assistance, economic development and interaction with the world," according to the Taliban.

Sunday's meeting in the presidential palace was attended by a number of other Afghan ministers including Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi, Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi, Defence Minister Yaqoob Mujahid, Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani and intelligence chief Abdul Haq Wasiq.

The Taliban said the leadership of the Islamic Emirate, the term used by the group to describe the new order in Afghanistan, thanked the Qatar government for supporting the Afghan people.

The Doha agreement, signed by the United States and the Taliban, was a "landmark achievement, all sides should adhere to its implementation", the Taliban added.

Qatar's Sheikh Mohammed also met Abdullah Abdullah, a senior official in the previous Afghan government, and former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the Foreign Ministry said.

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Afghan pilots leaving Uzbekistan

Meanwhile, US-trained Afghan pilots and other personnel held in an Uzbek camp for about a month began leaving the country on Sunday, under a US deal that came despite Taliban demands for the return of the Afghans and their aircraft, according to Reuters.

The first group is at least initially heading to the United Arab Emirates, one of the pilots told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity. 

It was not immediately clear what would happen to the 46 aircraft, including A-29 light attack planes and UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, that the pilots flew to neighbouring Uzbekistan as ground forces collapsed and the Taliban swept to power.

Current and former US officials have told Reuters that the Taliban pressured Uzbekistan to hand over the aircraft and personnel.

The Taliban did not respond to a request for comment on the Uzbek situation. The group seized aircraft including helicopters and drones as Afghan forces melted away last month, and it has called for the return for the aircraft flown out of the country before its fighters seized power in Kabul.

At the Uzbek camp, near the city of Termez, pilots had described feeling like prisoners, with highly restricted movement, and insufficient food and medicine.

Hopes began to lift about a week ago when US officials arrived to carry out biometric screening of the Afghans - many of whom fled with just the clothes on their back.

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Source: Reuters