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Turkey, Qatar in talks with Taliban over resumption of services at Kabul airport
Turkey and Qatar are involved in talks on providing the necessary services for the resumption of commercial flights at Kabul airport, which is currently uncontrolled without safety and security procedures.
Following the completion of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, on 30 August 2021, a NOTAM was issued declaring Kabul airport uncontrolled and devoid of airport services. Earlier, the entire Afghan airspace was restricted to civilian aircraft due to a lack of air traffic control, although some operations remained permitted with the permission of NATO's ISAF force.
However, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told France 2 that the international community is trying to provide a way to continue evacuations or generally travel on commercial flights."The Security Council resolution on airport security must be implemented. There are ongoing discussions with Qatar and Turkey about airport management. We need to demand safe access to the airport. ", he said.
On September 1, a C-17 operated by the Qatar Emiri Air Force (Doha Al Udeid) landed at Kabul airport. According to AFP sources, the aircraft had on board a team of Qatari specialists in charge of security and restoration of the airport's operational capabilities.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in a statement to Al Jazeera that the group had tried to secure the airport and believed it was capable of running the access gate. However, he acknowledged that talks were under way with the Qatari and Turkish authorities, without revealing the level of potential involvement of foreign parties.
Meanwhile, the independent Afghan news agency Islamic reported that the head of the Taliban-led civil aviation authority, Ahlaj Hamidullah Akhundzada, has called on all pilots who have fled the country in recent weeks to return to Afghanistan and their duties.
Concerns about the safety of employees, especially women, persist. In an online video call, a group of women in the cabin crew of Ariana Afghan Airlines claimed that all the women employed by the company were taken into custody by the leadership when the Taliban came to power.