Mr. Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State, said on September 7th that the Taliban had recapitulated a pledge that allows Afghans to leave Afghanistan after the deadline of August 31st. The statement came after Blinken’s meeting with Qatari Officials on accelerating evacuations of people from Afghanistan.
US President Joe Biden was under tremendous pressure to evacuate hundreds of people, including Americans, who cannot fly out from an airport in northern Afghanistan after the aforementioned deadline. However, the Taliban told the US that the people with travel documents would be allowed to depart from Afghanistan. Mr. Blinken stated in a conference at Doha along with US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin were with Qatari counterparts to discuss the safe departure of those people.
The Kabul airport, which was closed since Washington’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan at the end of August, would reopen soon, said Qatar. It also said this move would provide an important corridor for Afghans seeking to leave. Mr. Blinken quoted that the whole world is expecting the Taliban to stand by the commitment.
On Monday, senior US Cabinet ministers, including Mr.Blinken had dinner with Qatar’s ruler with Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani. They expressed gratitude to Doha for the assistance provided in the Afghanistan airlift.
How Blinken garnered international support for fleeing afghans
Around 600-1300 people, including girls and Americans, are still at the airport in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, sources from non-governmental organizations reported. One of the American NGOs active in Afghanistan showed concern that the Taliban is not letting anyone through. US officials said that as the Kabul airport (which was seized by US Military for evacuation) is in bad condition, they do not control the airspace in Afghanistan.
In the final days of a 20-year war of Afghanistan-US and other nations, the evacuation of nearly half of more than 120,000 people took place safely, with Qatar as the transit point for everything. Doha is the Taliban’s international diplomatic base. Mr. Blinken does not have any plans to meet Taliban people and told Washington is waiting for how well the Taliban will handle power in uplifting the country’s condition. The Qatari technical teams have been posted to Kabul to evaluate the airport’s viability and repair it for a return to operation to allow evacuations and receive the most needed humanitarian supplies.
Blinken’s negotiations with Qatari leader
Qatar’s this extraordinary support in safe transit of US citizens, US partners and other Afghans who are at risk is highly commendable, said the State Department, when Mr. Blinken was at a meeting with the Gulf state’s ruler. The decision to manage or run the airport has not been taken yet, stated Qatar official.
In between all these statements, the Taliban said, it will soon resume the international flight operations as Qatar and Turkey are helping to rebuild Kabul airport. Turkey has made it clear that it would not be possible to restart flights at Kabul unless the Taliban agrees to allow foreign security firms in the airport terminal.