In light of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban’s political office spokesman Mohammad Naim told Sputnik they want to resume domestic and international flights from Kabul Airport as soon as possible and pointed the airport’s readiness to accommodate flights from any country.
After the last US plane left Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport, marking the end of the almost 20-year military conflict, longest in US history, it is now under the full control of the Taliban movement that seized power in Afghanistan in the wake of the US pullout.
After the US exit from the airport, the Taliban has claimed victory with its leaders reportedly engaging in symbolic walk across the Kabul International Airport runway while the Taliban’s top spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid underlined the airport’s symbolism standing on its runway and declaring victory over the US.
Another member of the Taliban political office, Anas Haqqani said previously on Tuesday that they’re ready to resume the airport’s operation and the Kabul’s airport will resume operation within days. Haqqani called historical the day the US evacuation ended, describing the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan as a great event.
Meanwhile, Al Jazeera quoted Mujahid as saying the Taliban are in talks with Qatar and Turkey about the airport’s future and is now busy with securing and operating the site.
Though Taliban insist they need anyone’s help for the security and administrative control of the Kabul airport, claiming their fighters and special forces are capable of controlling the facility, Wilson Center’s South Asia specialist Michael Kugelman underscored that necessary if airlines were to return, a foreign security presence would be necessary at the airport.
Kugelman warned on the potentially very volatile environment security-wise in which foreign commercial airlines will not be comfortable getting into.
Even Qatar is urging the Taliban to accept foreign help, with FM Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani saying they’ve tried to explain the Taliban that airport safety and security require a lot more than securing the perimeters
Meanwhile, the Taliban official Shаhabuddin Delawar has called on foreign countries to resume the work of their embassies in the country, welcoming the decision of a number of countries to maintain their missions in Kabul and emphasizing they’re under no threat.
He also noted that the Taliban wants to keep good diplomatic relations with the US.