Taliban Say Kabul Airport to Restart International Flights Soon
(Bloomberg) -- The Taliban denied news reports that chartered planes are expected to fly Americans and other civilians out of Afghanistan on Thursday, saying international flights will restart in three days.
“Two planes landed today in Kabul, one from Qatar and another from Bahrain. Both planes brought humanitarian aid,” Zabihullah Mujahed, the group’s main spokesman, told Bloomberg News. “Those planes are not scheduled to carry any foreign nationals out of the country.”
Earlier, several news outlets, including the Associated Press, reported that a Qatar Airways aircraft would fly out between 100-150 Americans from the country. Al Jazeera put the number of U.S. citizens to be evacuated at 200. U.S. officials have been in Qatar this week to discuss evacuating those citizens who had been left behind in the last days of the chaotic American exit from the country.
Mujahed said teams from Qatar and Turkey were working to fix technical issues at Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport. Everyone with proper travel documents would be allowed to leave Afghanistan only when international flights resume, he added.
Western nations have said that any engagement with the newly-appointed government in Afghanistan would depend on several factors including allowing safe passage out of Kabul.
A U.K. diplomat said last week that Qatar was hoping to get military flights out of Kabul to allow evacuations as soon as possible and would offer international partners a quota of seats.
White House Chief of Staff Ron Klein said about 100 U.S. citizens were left behind in Afghanistan after the international airlift ended. The Biden administration is working to evacuate more Afghans with special immigrant visas.
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