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Blinken Heads to Qatar on Afghan Crisis Mission
By Staff, Agencies
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken headed Sunday to Qatar on his first trip since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan as he seeks a united front with allies shaken by the chaos.
Qatar, a major US military base, has been the gateway for 55,000 people airlifted out of Afghanistan, nearly half the total evacuated by US-led forces after the Taliban's stunningly swift victory amid a US withdrawal.
Blinken will then head Wednesday to the US air base of Ramstein in Germany, a temporary home for thousands of Afghans moving to the United States, from which he will hold a virtual 20-nation ministerial meeting on the crisis alongside German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.
The US state secretary will also speak to the Qataris about efforts alongside Turkey to reopen Kabul's ramshackle airport referring to it as a pressing priority that is necessary for flying in badly needed humanitarian aid and evacuating remaining Afghans.
The Taliban have promised that they will keep letting Afghans leave if they want to, one of the key issues that US allies expect to discuss in the talks in Germany.
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