Qatari aircraft carrying technical team lands in Kabul airport
A technical team from Qatar arrived at Kabul Hamid Karzai International Airport, a source with knowledge of the matter said Wednesday.
The Qatari aircraft landed with a team to discuss the resumption of airport operations after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan
“A Qatari jet carrying a technical team has landed in Kabul earlier today to discuss the resumption of operations in the airport,” the source told Agence France-Presse (AFP).
“While no final agreement has been reached regarding providing technical assistance, Qatar’s technical team has initiated this discussion based on the other sides’ request.
“Talks are still ongoing at the level of security and operations,” the source added.
The source explained that the goal was to resume flights for both humanitarian aid and to provide freedom of movement, including the resumption of evacuation efforts.
More than 123,000 foreign nationals and Afghans fled the country in a frenzied airlift operation that wound up Tuesday, but many more are desperate to depart.
United States officials have said Kabul airport is in bad condition, with much of its basic infrastructure degraded or destroyed.
Taliban fighters celebrated with gunfire and fireworks Tuesday after the last remaining U.S. troops abandoned Kabul following a two-decade war.
Qatar hosted negotiations between the Taliban and the U.S. in recent years and was a transit point for about 43,000 evacuees from Afghanistan.
The U.S. invaded Afghanistan and toppled its Taliban government in 2001 in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks by al-Qaida, which had sought sanctuary in the country.
Western capitals fear Afghanistan could again become a haven for extremists bent on attacks.
Gulf countries, including Qatar, have been instrumental staging posts for evacuation flights for Western countries’ citizens as well as for some Afghan interpreters, journalists and others who had worked with the West.