Around 200 Foreigners Fly Out of Kabul in First Commercial Flight Since U.S. Troops Withdrawal

Around 200 foreigners left Kabul on Sept. 9 in the first commercial flight out of Afghanistan since the United States withdrew its troops following the Taliban takeover.

Dozens of foreigners arrived in Qatari capital Doha on a Qatar Airways charter flight with cooperation from the Islamist militant group.

Taliban Spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid thanked Qatar for helping make the airport operational after it was extensively damaged during the chaotic final days of evacuation efforts last month, Al Jazeera reported.

Al Jazeera journalist Mohammed Jamjoom reported that the passengers comprised of Americans, Canadians, British citizens, and others.

U.S. State Secretary Antony Blinken confirmed that the flight departed from the Kabul international airport and arrived in the Hamad International Airport in Doha, welcoming the Taliban’s actions in facilitating the flight “as part of their commitment to allow those with travel documents who wish to leave to do so.”

U.S. National Security Council Spokesperson Emily Horne said in a statement that the Taliban have been “cooperative.

“They have shown flexibility, and they have been businesslike and professional in our dealings with them in this effort,” Horne said.

“This is a positive first step,” Horne also said, adding that the U.S. government will continue to facilitate flights for Americans and former Afghan employees who wish to leave the Taliban-controlled country.

Neither Blinken nor Horne specified how many Americans were on board the Sept. 9 flight, but Horne said that over 6,000 Americans have been evacuated from Afghanistan so far.

Meanwhile, Canadian Foreign Minister Marc Garneau confirmed that 43 Canadians were on board the flight.

United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also said that 13 British nationals were on board the flight while Dutch Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaad confirmed the same number for Dutch nationals.

The second flight is due on Sept. 10.

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