Qatar warns that it will not take responsibility for Kabul airport if no agreement is reached


Published: 2021-09-14 13:18

Last Updated: 2024-05-26 20:22

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Qatar warned on Tuesday that it would not be able to take responsibility for Kabul airport if no agreement was reached between all parties, including the Taliban.

"We must have a clear agreement for everyone, for all parties," Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said in a joint press conference with his Spanish counterpart, stressing, "We cannot assume any responsibility at the airport if these matters are not addressed and clarified."

Qatar has played a key role in, first, negotiations between the former Afghan government and the Taliban, and then negotiations with the Taliban to commit to human rights standards. 

Additionally, Qatar engaged in helping evacuate thousands of foreigners and Afghans and supporting operations at Kabul airport.

"Right now the status is still [under] negotiation because we need to have an agreement that's clear for everyone for all the parties and who is going to take care of the technical [side], who's going to take care of the security aspects.

"There is a possibility for collaboration with other countries if needed, but until now the discussion is only among us and Turkey and the Taliban."

Since the US pullout, Qatar Airways planes have made several trips to Kabul, flying in aid and Doha's representatives and ferrying out foreign passport holders.

A Pakistan International Airlines jet landed in Kabul Monday, marking the first international commercial flight since the US withdrawal.

It then made a return flight to Islamabad with about 70 people on board -- mostly Afghans who were relatives of staffers with international organisations, according to airport ground staff.

Kabul's international airport was ransacked after US-led forces finished a chaotic evacuation of more than 120,000 people, and the Taliban have since scrambled to resume operations with technical assistance from Qatar and other nations.

Qatar Airways operated several charter flights out of Kabul last week, carrying mostly foreigners and Afghans who missed out on the evacuation.

An Afghan airline resumed domestic services on Sept. 3.

But the resumption of regular commercial flights will be a key test for the Taliban, who have repeatedly promised to allow Afghans with the right documents to leave the country freely.

The United States pulled its final troops out of Afghanistan on August 30, ending its longest war just ahead of the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks that prompted its invasion.