Kabul Airport Reopen: The Qatar Airways flight to Doha has made progress in coordination between the new Taliban rulers of the United States and Afghanistan. A long stalemate on charter flights at another airport has left dozens of passengers stranded.
Nearly 200 foreigners, including Americans, left Kabul on a commercial flight from Afghanistan on Thursday, the first large-scale departure since U.S. and other forces completed their impassioned withdrawal a week ago.
The Qatar Airways flight to Doha has made progress in coordination between the new Taliban rulers of the United States and Afghanistan. A long stalemate on charter flights at another airport has left dozens of passengers stranded.
A senior U.S. official who spoke on condition of anonymity said he had provided a number of Westerners on a Qatar flight and that two senior Taliban officials had helped him leave on Thursday – the new foreign minister and deputy prime minister. There are Americans, US green card holders, and other nationalities, including Germans, Hungarians, and Canadians.
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Pentagon chief: Al Qaeda may try to return
U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said Thursday that the Taliban, an al-Qaeda terrorist group that used Afghanistan as a staging base to attack the United States 20 years ago, could try to reproduce thereafter the U.S. withdraws from power.
“This is the nature of the company,” he said in Kuwait City. He said the United States was ready to prevent the return of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. “We have given notice to the Taliban that we hope this does not happen,” he said, referring to the possibility of re-use of al-Qaeda as an Afghan base in Afghanistan.
White House: America did not bother to recognize the new government
The U.S. is not in a hurry to identify a new interim government led by the Taliban, according to a new White House official, PTI reported.
On questions about the caretaker cabinet, White House Press Secretary Jen Saki told reporters Wednesday that “we (the new government) are not going to recognize it and we are not rushing for recognition. They have a lot to do before then.”