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Qatar working with Taliban to reopen Kabul airport

By Ted Regencia, Virginia Pietromarchi and Arwa Ibrahim

(Al Jazeera) – The Qatari foreign minister says Kabul airport operations to resume ‘as soon as possible’ as Afghanistan faces looming humanitarian crisis.

Qatar has been working with the Taliban to reopen Kabul’s airport “as soon as possible”, Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said, adding that the Gulf state was also seeking technical assistance from Turkey.

“We are working very hard (and) we remain hopeful that we will be able to operate it as soon as possible … Hopefully in the next few days we will hear some good news,” Al Thani said on Thursday at a press conference with his British counterpart Dominic Raab in Doha.

The British foreign secretary said there was a need to engage with the Taliban on Afghanistan, but the United Kingdom had no immediate plans to recognise its government.

Raab said that the UK was not going to recognise the Taliban “any time in the foreseeable future”, adding that he will judge the group by its actions, not by words.

The Kabul airport was damaged as the United States and its allies evacuated more than 100,000 people, with the last US troops leaving on August 31 – the deadline set by US President Joe Biden.

The Taliban captured power on August 15 in a stunning military sweep triggering the collapse of the Western-backed Kabul administration. The group has also been celebrating the withdrawal of US-led foreign forces after 20 years of war.

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