Qatar announces an agreement with the Taliban to resume evacuation flights from Kabul

The government of Qatar this Tuesday announced an agreement with the Taliban-established authorities to resume evacuation flights from Kabul Airport, which have been suspended since the fundamentalists took power in the country in August 2021.

Qatari Foreign Minister Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al Zani confirmed the agreement in statements to news outlet Axios, adding that the pact includes two weekly flights by Qatar Airways.

Thus, these flights will allow the United States and other countries to continue evacuating their citizens and Afghans, who are considered vulnerable due to possible Taliban reprisals and the worsening humanitarian crisis.

Qatar announces an agreement with the Taliban to resume evacuation flights from Kabul
Qatar announces an agreement with the Taliban to resume evacuation flights from Kabul

The aforementioned portal has stated that talks are also underway for Afghan airline Ariana to operate a weekly flight once the Taliban have issued a number of security guarantees, so the pact has not been finalized in this regard.

Al Zani, who is also Deputy Prime Minister of Qatar, has also called for “a joint effort by members of the international community and interested parties to reach an agreement on how to proceed in Afghanistan”.

“It can’t go on like this forever. In that case, the humanitarian situation there will get much worse and the only victims will be ordinary Afghan citizens,” he said in his interview with Axios.

The words of the Qatari foreign minister came days after the Qatari portfolio issued a statement indicating that the authorities of Afghanistan, Qatar and Turkey had reached an agreement on “many key issues” related to the operation of Kabul Airport.

The statement was released after a meeting in Doha that was described as a follow-up to previous talks, while a final round of negotiations is scheduled for later this week.

Flights at Kabul Airport were suspended after the Taliban stormed the capital in August 2021 after then-President Ashraf Ghani fled the country.

Diplomatic sources told Turkey’s state-run Anatolia News Agency in December that Ankara and Doha had reached an agreement to jointly manage the airport’s operations.

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