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KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan’s Taliban authorities will enable some 200 Westerners, together with Individuals, to fly out from Kabul within the coming hours, officers mentioned Thursday, marking the airport’s first such flight since U.S. forces withdrew from the nation.
The big group of foreigners would depart Thursday on a Qatar Airways flight that had earlier ferried humanitarian assist to the nation, mentioned Qatari particular envoy Mutlaq bin Majed al-Qahtani, declaring it a “historic day.”
A senior U.S. official, who spoke on situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t licensed to temporary the media, supplied the quantity of Westerners anticipated to board the flight and mentioned that two very senior Taliban official helped facilitate the departure. The 200 consists of Individuals, inexperienced card holders and different nationalities, the official mentioned.
The flight would characterize the primary to depart from Kabul airport since American forces left the nation on the finish of August, their departure accompanied by a frantic airlift of tens of hundreds of international residents and Afghans fleeing the Taliban. The scenes of chaos, together with Afghans plunging to their deaths after clinging to army plane that was taking off and a suicide bombing that killed 169 Afghans and 13 U.S. service members, got here to outline the fraught finish to America’s two-decade struggle.
A international diplomat, likewise talking on situation of anonymity as a result of he wasn’t licensed to temporary the media, mentioned one other 200 foreigners, together with Individuals, would depart within the subsequent couple of days.
The departure of a big group of Individuals, a primary because the U.S. withdrawal, indicators that U.S. officers have come to an association with Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers.
“Call it what you want, a charter or a commercial flight, everyone has tickets and boarding passes,” al-Qahtani mentioned from the Kabul airport tarmac, including that one other industrial flight would take off on Friday. “Hopefully, life is becoming normal in Afghanistan.”
Nevertheless it stays unsure what the resumption of worldwide flights over the subsequent few days will imply for the tens of hundreds of Afghans determined to flee Afghanistan’s new Taliban leaders over fears of what their rule will maintain. Lots of of different Afghans in danger after the Taliban takeover as a result of of their previous work with Individuals have gathered for greater than every week within the northern metropolis of Mazar-e-Sharif, ready for permission to board privately chartered evacuation flights out of the nation.
The Taliban have assured the world they are going to let passengers with legitimate journey paperwork depart, however many of these on the northern airport didn’t have such papers. A stand-off between the Taliban and organizers of a number of constitution planes who had hoped to evacuate the Individuals and at-risk Afghans has ensued.
Following the U.S.-led evacuation of over 100,000 folks from the nation within the wake of the troop pullout, in depth injury at Kabul airport raised questions over how quickly the transport hub might resume for industrial flights. Technical consultants from Qatar and Turkey have been working to restore operations.
Al-Qahtani informed reporters that the airport’s radar was now lively and protecting some 70 miles (112 kilometers) after U.S. forces left it inoperable. Authorities had been coordinating with Pakistan as they tried to repair the realm management for the airspace, he added.