Aircraft leaves Kabul airport with Westerners on board, including the US
First authorized historical commercial flight: the airport gradually reopens-VIDEO
A Qatar Airways B-777 airliner marks the gradual reopening to commercial links at Kabul Airport. On board the aircraft that took off today, about 200 Western civilians of various nationalities including a group of Americans and several Canadians: this is the first flight of its kind authorized by the Taliban since their seizure of power. According to information provided by "CNN" and "Al Jazeera", passengers will stop in Doha before proceeding to their final destination.
The Taliban interim Foreign Minister, Mawlawi Amir Khan Muttaki, publicly thanked "the brothers of Qatar" and Mutlaq bin Majid al-Qahtani, special envoy of the Qatari Foreign Minister, during a press conference held at the airport, for their efforts made by the emirate in restarting air connections from Kabul international airport. In fact, in the last 10 days, a technical team sent from Qatar has helped restore operations at the airport for at least 90%. "There are some technical problems that we cannot solve, but in total all the equipment works", said one of the Qatari technicians, Mohamed Naeemi, speaking alongside Al-Qahtani, who called the recovery "historic" the restart of the commercial flights at Kabul airport, underlining however that the reopening process will be gradual. Other flights landed with humanitarian aid, he added, estimated at fifty tons of medical and food supplies.
The take-off of these hours was the Taliban's response to yesterday's "skirmish" with the US: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had accused the Taliban of blocking charter connections in Mazar-i-Sharif, in northern Afghanistan. He was told that the measure had been taken because some of the passengers did not have the required documentation. Today, the historic flight from Kabul, and it seems that the US citizens who took off are the same ones stuck in Mazar-i-Sharif.
Also today, the Taliban announced the new government that will lead the country on an interim basis.
Below: the press conference held in these hours at Kabul airport:
AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency