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Thursday, June 6, 2024

UAE and Taliban's most wanted minister met, what was discussed

 


The leader of the United Arab Emirates has met an official of the Taliban government. Abu Dhabi ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan has met Sirajuddin Haqqani. This meeting becomes important because Haqqani is the acting interior minister in the Taliban government and his name is also included among the terrorists declared most wanted by the US. How dangerous a terrorist he is can be gauged from the fact that the US has announced a bounty of 10 million dollars on him.

Haqqani is accused of being involved in the death of an American citizen and carrying out several attacks. This meeting between the two took place at the Qasr Al Shati Palace in the capital of the Emirates. In the meeting on Tuesday, there was a discussion on the growing division at the international level on how to deal with the Taliban. Western countries still do not recognize the Taliban as the government of Kabul, while Middle Eastern and other countries have contacted the Taliban several times.

What was discussed in the meeting?

The two sides discussed ways to strengthen cooperation between the two countries and contribute to mutual interests, regional stability. The focus was on economic and development sectors as well as reconstruction in Afghanistan. It said that Taliban spy chief Abdul Haq Wasiq also participated in the meeting. Wasiq was kept for years in the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay and was released in 2014 after the release of US Army Sgt.

Who is Sirajuddin Haqqani?

Haqqani, who is believed to be around 50, remains on the US radar even after the Taliban's capture. In 2022, a US drone strike in Kabul killed al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who had called for attacks on the United States for years after taking power from Osama bin Laden. According to US officials, the house where al-Zawahiri was killed was Haqqani's home. While the Taliban argued that the attack violated the terms of the 2020 Doha Agreement. The agreement also included a promise by the Taliban not to provide refuge to al-Qaeda members or others who wished to attack the US.

UAE is helping the Taliban

The UAE, which hosted the Taliban diplomatic mission during the Taliban's first rule in Afghanistan, has been trying to strengthen ties with the group even as it has sent troops to support the Western coalition that has fought in the country for decades. Low-cost UAE-based carriers Air Arabia and flydubai have started flying into Kabul International Airport again.

How deadly is the Haqqani network?

The Haqqani network has become one of the most lethal weapons of the Taliban. The Taliban and the Haqqani network use each other as per their convenience. The Haqqani network had whole-heartedly helped the Taliban to come to power. The group carried out attacks including roadside bombs, suicide bombings, Indian American embassies, the Afghan presidency and other key targets. These networks have also been involved in extortion, kidnapping and other criminal activities. Haqqani himself admitted to planning the attack on the Serena Hotel in Kabul in January 2008, in which six people, including American citizen Thor David Hesla, were killed.

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