On Thursday, the first civilian flight out of the Kabul airport since the US completed its military withdrawal departed Afghanistan and arrived in Doha, Qatar. About 100 passengers were on the flight, including US citizens.
National Security Council Spokesperson Emily Horne said the US “facilitated the departure of US citizens and lawful permanent residents on a chartered Qatar Airways flight from Hamid Karzai International Airport.”
The US is dependent on the Taliban to allow US citizens and Afghans seeking refuge to leave Afghanistan, and Horne had good things to say about the Taliban’s cooperation.
“The Taliban have been cooperative in facilitating the departure of American citizens and lawful permanent residents on charter flights from HKIA. They have shown flexibility, and they have been businesslike and professional in our dealings with them in this effort. This is a positive first step,” she said.
The Taliban have been working with Qatar and Turkey to get the airport up and running. Qatar’s special envoy in Afghanistan said earlier on Thursday that the airport was “fully operational.”
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the Kabul airport will soon be ready for commercial flights. “In the very near future, the airport will be ready for all sorts of flights including commercial flights,” he said.