According to New York Post’s report quoting Middle East media, Kabul airport, which is a vital link for those still seeking to flee the country, was reopened Saturday evening to receive humanitarian aid and the first domestic flights within Afghanistan, first time since Aug. 31 shut down after the massive US-led evacuation efforts.
Qatar’s ambassador to Afghanistan Saeed bin Mubarak Al Khayarin informed that that the airport’s runway was repaired and two domestic flights flew to the cities of Mazar -i-Sharif and Kandahar.
Al Khayarin stressed that repairs carried by a group of technicians from Qatar and Turkey- who flew to Afghanistan on Wednesday- in Kabul’s airport are still underway, but noted it will be ready to receive several commercial flights in the next few days.
Yet, it remains to be seen of any commercial airlines would be willing and comfortable to provide service to Kabul when the airport reopens due to potentially very volatile environment security-wise considering that despite all advices, Taliban insist they need anyone’s help for the security and administrative control of the Kabul airport.
Foreign experts and even Qatar’s representatives, on the other hand, underscored that a foreign security presence would be necessary at the airport if airlines were to return.
Meanwhile, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Al-Thani noted Qatar is working with Turkey to provide potential technical support to get the airport back in operation.
Qatari technical experts managed to restore some of the Kabul airport’s equipment in the past 48 hours, including one of the radars, as it was said previously on Saturday by the Qatari Foreign Ministry’s special envoy on counterterrorism and conflict resolution, Mutlaq bin Majed Al Qahtani, who noted Doha expects the air corridors for humanitarian aid to Afghanistan to be available in the next 24-48 hours.
Al Qahtani was the first foreign official to arrive in Kabul after the US pullout from Afghanistan.