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Sabtu, 04 September 2021

Kabul airport reopens for aid and domestic flights, but the US says it won't help the Taliban - ABC News

Domestic flights have resumed in Afghanistan between Kabul and three major provincial cities, after a technical team from Qatar reopened the capital's airport for aid and domestic services.

Flights between Kabul and the western city of Herat, Mazar-i Sharif in northern Afghanistan and Kandahar in the south started on Saturday, the Ariana Afghan airline said in a statement on its Facebook page.

"Ariana Afghan Airlines is proud to resume its domestic flights," it said.

Earlier, Qatar's ambassador to Afghanistan said a technical team was able to reopen Kabul airport to receive aid, according to Qatar's Al Jazeera news channel.

The airport's runway has been repaired in cooperation with authorities in Afghanistan, the ambassador said, according to Al Jazeera, in a further small step towards a return to relative normality after the turmoil of the past three weeks.

Reopening the airport, a vital lifeline with both the outside world and across Afghanistan's mountainous territory has been a high priority for the Taliban as they seek to restore order after their lightning seizure of Kabul three weeks ago. 

A US soldier holds a sign indicating a gate is closed as hundreds of people gather some holding documents.
Kabul airport was in chaos during recent weeks while western countries organised evacuation flights.(

AP: Wali Sabawoon

)

Kabul airport had been closed since the end of the massive US-led airlift of its citizens, other Western nationals and Afghans who helped Western countries.

Most of the international community is yet to announce whether they will accept the Taliban as the legitimate government of Afghanistan, and as a result, finance and access to the country's assets has been paused. 

In the US, aides Democrats who control both houses of Congress and to Republicans said lawmakers were nearly certain to provide humanitarian aid for internally displaced Afghans and refugees but not to the government itself, at least for now.

"It would be difficult to convince members of Congress to do anything that would appear to be supporting the Taliban government," said a senior Senate Democratic aide, citing the absence of oversight and a reluctance "to support a government that is anathema to us."

A senior Senate Republican aide agreed.

"Republicans would absolutely not support giving money to the Taliban," the Republican aide said, saying they do not want to provide any money until Americans and Afghans who worked with the United States can leave Afghanistan.

The State Department did not immediately reply to a request for comment on whether it would request additional funds for Afghanistan.

Reuters.

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2021-09-05 00:21:10Z
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