Kabul airport ready for international flights - Taliban

Afghanistan’s Kabul airport is ready for the international flights, the Taliban announced on Sunday.

All the problems at the facility have been resolved and the airport is fully operational, said Abdul Qahar Balk, the foreign ministry spokesman of the country’s interim government, Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

“The IEA (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," he said.

Flights were suspended at the Hamid Karzai airport last month after the Taliban took control of the country two weeks before the scheduled withdrawal of U.S. troops.

Turkey, which had been negotiating with the United States to continue operating the airport and to provide security there, has made the same offer to the Taliban, saying that would help the Islamic group establish international legitimacy. But the Taliban has rejected the offer, saying it will handle all security matters.

The Taliban has been in talks with Turkey and Qatar to operate the airport and the two countries have been helping to restore services at the facility.

Speaking to CBS in New York last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey has yet to reach a deal with the Taliban.

"Right now the government in Afghanistan is not inclusive,” he said. "But, if the government shall be more inclusive, we can be there (to operate the airport), present (in Afghanistan), as Turkey.”

For the last two decades, Turkey maintained a non-combat military role as part of a NATO mission in Afghanistan with around 500 troops in the country. It pulled them out in late August.


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