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Qatar working with Taliban to reopen Kabul’s airport ‘as soon as possible’: Foreign Minister

The airport is out of operation with much of its infrastructure destroyed or degraded since the frenzied evacuation that ended with the US troop withdrawal on Tuesday.

Qatar working with Taliban to reopen Kabul's airport as soon as possible: Foreign Minister-dnm
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Qatar, First Published Sep 2, 2021, 5:26 PM IST
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Urging the hardline Islamists to allow Afghans to leave, Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said on Thursday, Qatar is working with the Taliban to reopen Kabul’s airport “as soon as possible”.

The airport is out of operation with much of its infrastructure destroyed or degraded since the frenzied evacuation that ended with the US troop withdrawal on Tuesday.

“We are working very hard (and) we remain hopeful that we will be able to operate it as soon as possible … Hopefully in the next few days we will hear some good news,” Al Thani said on Thursday at a press conference with his British counterpart Dominic Raab in Doha, AFP reported.

A Qatari technical team is planning to operate the Kabul airport "soon", the Doha-based Al-Jazeera channel reported, citing an Afghan civil aviation official.

The Qatari team was now assessing damage in the airport, he said, according to Al-Jazeera.

Also read: 13 Taliban militants killed and 'tank destroyed' in ambush by Panjshir resistance forces

Al-Jazeera also reported that domestic flights from Kabul airport will resume on Friday, citing an Afghan civil aviation official who expected international flights "to take time".

More than 123,000 foreign nationals and Afghans fled the country in the airlift operation, but many more are desperate to depart.

"It's very important... that the Taliban demonstrate their commitment to provide safe passage and freedom of movement for the people of Afghanistan," Sheikh Mohammed said as reported by AFP.

Qatar is "engaging with (the Taliban) and also with Turkey if they can provide any technical assistance", he added, the AFP report further said.

In a stunning military sweep triggering the collapse of the West-backed Kabul administration, the Taliban captured Afghanistan completely on August 15. 

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