Over 100 passengers from Afghanistan arrive in Qatar
According to officials, the first international commercial flight since the end of last month's chaotic Western airlift from Afghanistan left Kabul airport on Thursday with more than 100 passengers on board.
The event not only provided hope to those still stranded in Afghanistan and terrified of the new Taliban regime, but it also marked a significant step forward in efforts to restore some normalcy to a country in the midst of economic collapse and humanitarian crises.
"We managed to fly the first plane with passengers just an hour ago," said the Foreign Minister HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said in Islamabad, thanking the Taliban leaders for helping reopen the airport.
There were around 113 passengers on board, including residents from the United States, Canada, Ukraine, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Furthermore, the flight was operated by Qatar Airways and had landed at Doha's Hamad International Airport.
After safe passage was agreed upon, the passengers were transported to Kabul airport in a Qatari convoy. They will first remain at a compound in Doha that houses Afghan and other evacuees.
Despite the fact that international flights carrying officials, technicians, and aid have flown in and out in recent days, this was the first civilian flight since the frantic evacuation of 124,000 foreigners and at-risk Afghans that followed the Taliban's control of the capital on August 15, 2021.
According to Qatari special envoy Mutlaq bin Majed al-Qahtani, the trip on Thursday was a regular flight and not an evacuation. He also noted that there would be another flight on Friday.
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