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Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani. Photo: Karim Jaafar/AFP via Getty Images

The Qatari foreign minister Saturday urged the Taliban to reduce escalation and cease fire, according to a ministry statement.

State of play: Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani met with the chief of the Taliban's political bureau to discuss the latest developments in Afghanistan.

What they're saying: The ministry said that the cease fire "would contribute to accelerating efforts to reach a comprehensive political settlement that would guarantee a prosperous future for the government and people of Afghanistan."

The big picture: Representatives from the United States, China and other nations met this week and agreed they would not recognize "any government in Afghanistan that is imposed through the use of military force."

Catch up quick: The Taliban has captured more than half of Afghanistan's provincial capitals and is closing in on Kabul.

  • On Saturday, the Taliban took over the capitals of the provinces of Paktika and Logar, the latter of which is just miles from the Afghan capital.

Go deeper: Behind the scenes of the Biden administration as the U.S. ditches Kabul

Go deeper

Oct 20, 2021 - Politics & Policy

After Gulf trip, U.S. Iran envoy to meet European allies

Malley meets Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani. Photo: Qatari Foreign Ministry handout via Getty

U.S. envoy for Iran Rob Malley will meet on Friday in Paris with senior diplomats from France, Germany and the U.K. to discuss the stalemate in the nuclear talks with Iran, sources briefed on the meeting told me. Malley will arrive in Paris after a four-day trip to the Gulf.

Why it matters: The nuclear talks have been stalled since June, and America’s Arab partners are extremely concerned by Iran’s nuclear advances in recent months. Several Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, are engaging with Tehran to try to de-escalate regional tensions.

Biden rejects Trump's latest executive privilege claims

Photo: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The White House on Monday rejected two more of former President Trump's claims of executive privilege over documents that the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot requested, CNN first reported.

Why it matters: Trump's legal team is seeking to block some of the panel's requests for records by invoking executive privilege, which can allow presidents and their aides to sidestep congressional scrutiny. The Biden administration has maintained that it will evaluate on a case-by-case basis.

Amazon warehouse workers in New York file petition to hold unionization vote

Amazon workers and their supporters rally outside the National Labor Relations Board's regional office in Brooklyn, New York City, after filing a petition requesting an election to form a union. Photo: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Amazon warehouse workers in New York City filed a petition on Monday with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to hold a vote on unionization.

Why it matters: The move comes six months after an organizing effort was defeated at Amazon's distribution center in Alabama.