Dozens of people have boarded a commercial flight in Kabul on Thursday, marking the first large-scale evacuation attempt since the United States and coalition forces withdrew from Afghanistan at the end of last month.
Approximately 200 foreign nationals, some of whom are American, will be flying to Doha, Qatar, according to several reports . It will be the first commercial flight since the Taliban overthrew the government in mid-August.
“As of now, the Taliban are not permitting the charter flights to depart,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters Wednesday at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. “We’ve made clear to all parties, we made clear to the Taliban, that these charters need to be able to depart, and we continue every day, virtually every hour, to work on that.”
The Taliban have refused to allow the departure of people who have “valid” U.S. travel documents, Blinken said a day earlier, creating an impediment for groups who are traveling with people who do not have such documents.
Biden administration officials have said diplomacy is now the key to getting the remaining Americans out of Afghanistan who want to leave following the conclusion of the 20-year war. They have repeatedly said the Taliban’s desire for acceptance in the international community and access to global markets would encourage them to behave in accordance with Washington’s expectations.