Nations begin direct talks with Taliban

A handful of countries have admitted they're in talks with the Taliban to safely evacuate the rest of their people from Afghanistan.

Alongside the foreign nationals still stranded in the country are many Afghans who want a way out after working for the ousted government or on international projects there.

India's ambassador to Qatar met with a representative of the Taliban in Doha on Tuesday. The Indian foreign ministry said the meeting was set up after a request from the Taliban side.

Their discussions focused on "safety, security and the early return of Indian nationals stranded in Afghanistan," as well as, "the travel of Afghan nationals" wishing to visit India.
India also raised concerns that "Afghanistan's soil should not be used for anti-Indian activities and terrorism in any manner." The Taliban representative reportedly said these issues would be positively addressed.
This is the first time India has publicly acknowledged such a meeting since the Taliban returned to power.

Meanwhile, the British government said on Tuesday that it has sent the prime minister's special envoy to Qatar to meet the Taliban.

The group has had full control of the airport in Kabul, since US troops completed their withdrawal.

The foreign minister of Qatar, which has built ties with the Taliban, said his country will continue talks to support airport operations.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said, "We feel that the issue of reopening the airport is one of the most important issues for Afghanistan in order to achieve one thing the Taliban had previously promised, which is the freedom of movement."

The Taliban have said they want to see commercial flights resume, although that currently appears to be a distant prospect.