Qatar Airways is the first plane to land and depart from Kabul after U.S. exit

Suparat Chairatprasert /

Around 200 foreigners, most of them Americans, were flown out of Kabul to Doha by Qatar Airways on September 9, 2021. This is the first large-scale departure out of the Afghanistan capital since the United States’ last military planes departed on August 31, 2021.

The United States Department of State confirmed in an online statement that a Qatar Airways charter flight departed from Kabul with U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents onboard. 

They also acknowledged that they were able to facilitate this flight with the cooperation of Taliban officials, whom they have been in regular contact with in recent days. 

U.S. National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne told Associated Press that the flight was a result of “careful and hard diplomacy and engagement”, and that the Taliban “have shown flexibility and they have been business-like and professional in our dealings with them in this effort.”

Several countries, including the U.K. and the U.S. have relocated their embassies to Doha from Kabul after the Taliban took over Afghanistan. 

The U.S. Department of State also said on their site that, “Our message to those who remain in Afghanistan is simple: If you wish to depart Afghanistan, we will help you to do so.”

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