Qatar reaches deal with Taliban to resume evacuations

Qatar stopped operating evacuation flights in early December amid a dispute with the Taliban over which passengers were permitted to take the flights.

The sun sets over Kabul, Afghanistan, October 7, 2021. (photo credit: REUTERS/JORGE SILVA/FILE PHOTO)
The sun sets over Kabul, Afghanistan, October 7, 2021.
(photo credit: REUTERS/JORGE SILVA/FILE PHOTO)

Qatar has reached an agreement with the Taliban to resume chartered evacuations out of Kabul airport, the Axios news website reported on Tuesday citing an interview with Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.

The agreement was for two flights per week, chartered by Qatar Airways, and would allow the United States and other countries to evacuate thousands more of their citizens and at-risk Afghans, Axios said.

The minister spoke to Axios on Monday in Washington, during an official visit with Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.

A senior Qatar government source told Reuters on January 27 that Qatar Airways has resumed operating passenger evacuation flights from Afghanistan, after a two-month halt.

Qatar stopped operating evacuation flights in early December amid a dispute with the Taliban over which passengers were permitted to take the flights.

 Afghan Taliban's Refugee & Repatriation Minister Haji Khalil ur Rahman Haqqani speaks during a meeting to mark International Migrants Day in Kabul, Afghanistan, December 18, 2021.  (credit:  REUTERS/ALI KHARA) Afghan Taliban's Refugee & Repatriation Minister Haji Khalil ur Rahman Haqqani speaks during a meeting to mark International Migrants Day in Kabul, Afghanistan, December 18, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/ALI KHARA)

Talks were underway to allow one flight per week operated by Ariana Afghan Airlines, Axios cited the Qatari minister as saying in the interview.