The first in a few weeks has departed in cooperation between Qatar and the Taliban…..
The Kabul airport is being staffed and brought operational by Qatar since the Taliban dod not have the technical ability to do so….
The manifest for the Qatar Airways flight granted permission for 211 passengers to leave from Kabul, according to diplomats in Kabul who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media. It was not immediately clear how many passengers made it to the airport to board the flight, but footage showed a group of men, women and children boarding the plane….
There should be more evacuations from others places in Afghanistan other than Kabul as other Middle East air carriers move to fill the vacuum in air travel in and out of the country…
Aid flights into the country have begun and are essential for the Taliban economy…..
With flights at the airport in Kabul resuming, one senior American official said on Thursday it was expected that most U.S. citizens who wanted to leave Afghanistan would now be able to depart because their travel documents and other security clearances could be verified by Qatari officials who were operating the flights out.
The vetting of passengers has been one of the main concerns keeping flights from departing from the airport in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, said the official, who discussed the arrangements on condition of anonymity.
In Mazar-e-Sharif, the Taliban had agreed to allow American citizens to leave, but planes were held up over concerns about whether other passengers had valid travel documents.
The U.S. official said that Americans elsewhere in Afghanistan could now be brought to the Kabul airport in protected convoys but declined to give details for security reasons.
The Taliban and the Americans have been sparring for days over who bore responsibility for the delay in getting flights in and out of the country. The Taliban said that the Americans had left the Kabul airport in a state of disrepair, including by disabling the radar there.
The Americans have said that it was the failure of the Taliban to provide security and a reliable vetting system that slowed things down.
The American official, who was familiar with the negotiations, said that the Taliban had allowed Qatar to operate the Kabul airport after being pressed by Zalmay Khalilzad, the American envoy to stalled peace talks, and after Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken had met with Qatar’s leaders this week in Doha.
The Taliban on Thursday thanked the Qataris for their efforts to reopen the airport….