Qatar jet carrying technical team lands in Kabul

Qatar jet carrying technical team lands in Kabul, after US withdrawal
2 min read
01 September, 2021
A Qatari jet carrying a technical team landed in Kabul on Wednesday to discuss reopening the capital's airport after the US and other foreign troops left Afghanistan ending a 20-year operation.
US officials have said Kabul airport is in a bad condition after the hasty evacuation efforts by foreign forces [source: Getty]

A Qatari aircraft landed in Kabul on Wednesday carrying a technical team to discuss the resumption of airport operations after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, according to an informed source. 

"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 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 operation."

The source said 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 on Tuesday, but many more are desperate to leave.

US officials have said Kabul airport is in a bad condition, with much of its basic infrastructure degraded or destroyed.

Taliban fighters celebrated with gunfire on Tuesday after the last US forces abandoned Kabul following a two-decade war.

Qatar hosted negotiations between the Taliban and the United States in recent years and was a transit point for about 43,000 evacuees from Afghanistan.

The US invaded Afghanistan and toppled its Taliban government in 2001 in the wake of the 9/11 attacks by Al-Qaeda, 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 in staging posts for evacuation flights for Western countries' citizens as well as Afghan interpreters, journalists and others.