Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani

This month, the Qatari prime minister met in secret with the Taliban supreme leader to discuss easing tension with the outside world, according to a source briefed on the conversation. This encounter appeared to indicate a new openness on the part of the Afghan government to talk about methods to break their isolation.

The meeting between Haibatullah Akhunzada and Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani on May 12 in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar is the first one the reclusive Taliban leader is known to have had with a foreign leader.