Taliban urges international airlines to resume Afghan flights – Journal


KABUL / NEW YORK: The Taliban on Sunday urged international airlines to resume flights to Kabul, saying all technical issues at the country’s main airport have been resolved.

The Kabul airport facilities were badly damaged in the chaotic evacuation of more than 120,000 people which ended on August 30 with the withdrawal of the last American troops.

Since then, only charter flights have been operated, although Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Mahan Air of Iran and Kam Air of Afghanistan have only operated a limited number of special flights.

The international community is keen to take the Taliban’s word that they will allow anyone to leave the country once commercial flights resume.

Currently, airlines such as PIA and Kam Air charge over $ 1,200 for a 40-minute one-way flight between Kabul and Islamabad.

Even at this price – the result of war insurance, according to the airlines – irregular flights are heavily oversubscribed.

Abdul Qahar Balkhi, newly appointed spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, said the Taliban hoped that appropriate trade services would resume soon.

“Many Afghan citizens were stuck outside and unable to return to their countries of origin,” he said in a statement.

“In addition, many Afghan citizens who have international jobs or pursue studies abroad are now having difficulty reaching their destinations. Kabul airport services restored mainly with technical assistance from Qatar, UAE and Turkey .— No Afghan airport deal without an ‘inclusive’ government, Erdogan said .

Turkey expects the Afghan government to be “inclusive” before an agreement can be reached on the operation of the strategic Kabul airport, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday.

Turkey had planned to help secure and manage the airport before the hard-line Islamist Taliban took over the Afghan capital last month.

There were also negotiations on the subject this summer between Turkish and American officials but after the return of the Taliban, the Turkish troops stationed in the country withdrew.

Turkey’s withdrawal alongside other NATO forces followed the end of the United States’ longest military conflict last month.

The fall of Kabul shattered plans, but Turkey was in talks with the Taliban on conditions under which it could help operate the airport.

“The Afghan government is not inclusive, does not embrace all the different factions. As long as that is the question, we will not be present in Afghanistan, but if the government is more inclusive, we can be there, present, as Turkey, ”Erdogan told US broadcaster CBS News.

“We would expect all women to be very actively involved in all aspects of life in Afghanistan. And whenever women become more active in all aspects of life, we can support them, ”he added, according to an interview transcript provided by CBS News.

Erdogan discussed Turkey’s management of the airport with US President Joe Biden at their first meeting in June on the sidelines of a NATO summit in Brussels.

But relations are strained between the two presidents, Erdogan admitting Thursday that they had “not started well”.

One of the issues causing the tensions is Turkey’s purchase of a Russian missile defense system, which Washington says poses a threat to the Western alliance. Ahead of a visit to Russia on Wednesday, Erdogan said in the CBS News interview that Turkey would make a second purchase from Moscow.

“In the future, no one will be able to interfere with what kind of defense systems we acquire, from what country to what level,” Erdogan said in response to questions about Turkey’s future intentions.

Posted in Dawn, le 27 September 2021


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