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Afghanistan

First post-evacuation flight from Afghanistan lands in Qatar after Taliban approval

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticized the Taliban and revealed that they were not allowing charter flights to evacuate US citizens and at-risk Afghans to depart the airport.

Published: Updated:

The Taliban allowed a flight of foreigners, including American citizens, to finally depart Afghanistan on Thursday after the top US diplomat lashed out at the group for blocking charter flights from taking off.

Qatar, which has emerged as a leading political interlocutor in Afghanistan, said the first commercial flight left Kabul since the chaotic US withdrawal ended its longest war last month.

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Qatar’s foreign minister said, “we managed to fly the first plane with passengers just an hour ago.” Videos surfaced of the flight landing in Doha at around 5PM GMT.

The United Kingdom said 13 British nationals were on the flight. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab thanked Qatar for its efforts.

Alongside Doha, Turkey has also been reported to be working with the Taliban to get the airport back up and running.

On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken criticized the Taliban and revealed that they were not allowing charter flights to evacuate US citizens and at-risk Afghans to depart the airport.

“There’s been a fair amount of confusion surrounding the flights, and let me just clarify a few things. As of now, the Taliban are not permitting the charter flights to depart. They claim that some of the passengers do not have the required documentation,” Blinken said during a joint press conference with his German counterpart.

An AFP correspondent reported that there were around 200 passengers on the flight that left Thursday.