Evacuation from Kabul airport may resume “in the near future,” said British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab after talks about the situation in Afghanistan with his Qatari counterpart.
Dominic Raab is in Qatar, talking about how the remaining British citizens and former Afghan associates in Afghanistan could leave Afghanistan. After US troops left Afghanistan, the Kabul airport is currently closed.
When asked when Kabul airport could be reopened, Raab replied that “he doesn’t think we are in a position to say anything officially at the moment, but it looks like it might happen in the near future.” He added that he had “good talks” with the Qatar Foreign Minister about the “feasibility” of resuming evacuation from the airport.
– We want to fulfill our obligations towards those who have not yet managed to leave. Ideally, they (left) via Kabul airport, but it has to work and it has to be safe, Raab later told Sky News. He added that “it is the Taliban’s duty to live up to the assurances we have received directly” to allow British citizens and legitimate Afghans to leave the country safely.
Raab: There are fewer than a few hundred people left in Afghanistan authorized to evacuate to the UK
Speaking with Raab at the conference on Thursday, Qatar’s Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said his country had spoken to the Taliban and was also working with Turkey to see if it could provide technical support to resume operations at Kabul airport. However, he was unable to define any specific dates. Sky News said it should be expected that it may be a matter of weeks rather than days.
During Wednesday’s hearing before the MPs’ foreign affairs committee, Raab admitted that it is not known exactly how many people authorized to evacuate to the UK still remain in Afghanistan, but estimated the figure at “a few hundred lower”.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / JONATHAN GIFFORD / BRITISH MINISTRY OF DEFENSE / HANDOUT