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Kabul airport now ready for international flights: Taliban official

The Kabul airport was damaged with its many facilities destroyed during the withdrawal of US-led forces and American nationals on Aug. 31.

IANS | Kabul |

The Kabul airport is now fully operational for international flights and all airliners can resume services, a spokesman of the Taliban’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced.

The statement from the foreign affairs ministry comes as the new administration has stepped up efforts to open up the country and gain international acceptance following the collapse of the Western-backed government last month.

“As the problems at Kabul International Airport have been resolved and the airport is fully operational for domestic and international flights, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan 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,” spokesman Abdul Qahar Balkhi said in a statement on Sunday.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs once again assures full cooperation on its part in conducting flights more than 40 days after Taliban takeover, Xinhua news agency quoted Balkhi as further saying.

The Kabul airport was damaged with its many facilities destroyed during the withdrawal of US-led forces and American nationals on Aug. 31.

A limited number of aid and passenger flights have been operating from the airport. But normal commercial services have yet to resume since it was closed in the wake of the chaotic evacuation of tens of thousands of foreigners and vulnerable Afghans that followed the Taliban’s seizure of the capital.

Airport authorities confirmed that the airport has received planes carrying humanitarian assistance from Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Pakistan as well as a number of commercial flights from Pakistan, Iran, and Qatar in recent weeks despite a long suspension in the flights since the Taliban takeover.

The last flight carrying American forces left Kabul in the early hours of Tuesday morning – ending 20 years of military presence in the country.

Last week, the Taliban said that while domestic flights had resumed in Afghanistan, “a little bit of work” was still required for international flights to resume, because of heavy damage to the Kabul airport.