An estimated 200 foreigners, including Americans, left Afghanistan on a commercial flight out of Kabul on Thursday with the cooperation of the Taliban — the first such large-scale departure since U.S. forces completed their frantic withdrawal over a week ago.
READ MORE: Taliban authorities allowed a Qatari charter flight to leave for Doha from the Kabul airport Thursday, the first flight for evacuees to take off since the United States ended its military operation in Afghanistan on August 31.
“Today, the United States government facilitated the departure of U.S citizens and lawful permanent residents on a chartered Qatar Airways flight from Hamid Karzai International Airport. We can confirm that flight has safely landed in Qatar,” National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne said in a statement. “The Taliban have been cooperative in facilitating the departure of American citizens and lawful permanent residents on charter flights from HKIA. They have shown flexibility, and they have been businesslike and professional in our dealings with them in this effort. This is a positive first step.”
Horne added that the U.S. will “continue these efforts to facilitate the safe and orderly travel of American citizens, lawful permanent residents, and Afghans who worked for us and wish to leave Afghanistan.”
Both Reuters and AFP reported the flight carried 113 passengers, among them 43 Canadians and 13 Dutch nationals, their foreign ministries said.