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A Qatari plane with a technical team on board lands at Kabul Airport

A Qatari plane with a technical team on board lands at Kabul Airport

A Qatari plane carrying a technical team landed in Kabul on Wednesday to discuss the resumption of navigation operations at the Afghan capital’s airport and to discuss providing assistance after the Taliban’s takeover and the withdrawal of foreign forces, according to a source familiar with the file.

“A Qatari plane carrying a technical team landed in Kabul earlier today to discuss the resumption of operations at the airport,” the source told AFP, adding, “While no final agreement was reached on providing technical assistance, the Qatari technical team launched this discussion at the request of the other party.”

This comes as a source from the “Taliban” movement confirmed to the Russian “Novosti” agency today, Wednesday, that technical experts from Turkey and Qatar have arrived at Hamid Karzai International Airport in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Activists on social media circulated today footage showing the landing of a Boeing C-17 plane bearing the markings of Qatar Airways at Hamid Karzai International Airport, and it is believed that it is the first plane to arrive in Kabul since the withdrawal of US forces from the airport.

This comes against the background of reports about ongoing consultations between the “Taliban” that came to power in Afghanistan, Qatar and Turkey regarding the possibility of Doha and Ankara operating the Kabul airport.

The spokesman for the “Taliban” Zabihullah Mujahid had confirmed to “Novosti” that most of the equipment was destroyed at Kabul Airport, noting that work was done to address these damages.

Doha called on the Taliban to provide a “safe passage” for those wishing to leave Afghanistan, and urged it to respect women’s rights. This comes at a time when the Netherlands decided to move its embassy in Kabul to Doha.

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Qatar’s Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani, with the head of the Taliban’s political bureau, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, Qatar called on the Taliban to secure a “safe corridor” for those wishing to leave Afghanistan.

Qatar, which hosts Taliban leaders and plays a key role in facilitating evacuations of Western countries from Afghanistan, called on the movement to guarantee a “safe passage” for those wishing to leave the country after the US withdrawal.

On Thursday, Qatar said that it had “facilitated, in coordination with the relevant countries and parties in Afghanistan, the peaceful evacuation of more than 40,000 people from Kabul to Qatar,” according to the Qatar News Agency (QNA), quoting a statement issued by the Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs.