Taliban urge international airlines to resume flights to Afghanistan as issues resolved

The Taliban have called for the resumption of international flights to the Afghan capital Kabul, saying all technical issues at the Hamid Karzai International airport have been resolved, amid some signs of normalcy following the group’s takeover of the country last month.

Abdul Qahar Balkhi, Taliban-appointed spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs made the remarks in a statement on Sunday, expressing hope that proper commercial services would resume shortly.

“The airport is fully operational for domestic and international flights,” he said, adding that the Taliban interim government “assures all airlines of its full cooperation and expects all airlines and countries that had previously flown to Kabul to resume their flights as before.”

He further noted that the suspension of international flights had left many Afghans stranded abroad and also prevented people from travelling for work or study.

“Many Afghan citizens were stuck outside and unable to return to their homeland,” the spokesman said.

“Moreover, many Afghan citizens who have international employment or pursue education abroad are now facing difficulties in reaching their destinations,” he added.

Kabul airport’s facilities were badly damaged in the wake of a chaotic US evacuation of 124,000 foreigners.

The airport had been closed since the end of the messy US-led airlift of its citizens and other Western nationals on August 30, and only a limited number of aid and passenger flights have been operating –namely from Iran and Pakistan.   

The Kabul airport services were restored mostly with the assistance of technical teams from Qatar and Turkey.

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