The Taliban asked international airlines on Sunday to resume flights to Afghanistan. This as Kabul airport was damaged in the evacuation of thousands of foreign troops and civilians in August.
The Taliban’s foreign ministry spokesman, Abdul Qahar Balkhi, stated the absence of international flights has left many Afghans stranded abroad and prevented others from traveling for work and study.
“As the problems at Kabul International Airport have been resolved and the airport is fully operational for domestic and international flights, the [Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan] assures all airlines of its full cooperation,” Balkhi noted.
Some airlines like Pakistan International Airlines have recently begun offering limited international flights in and out of Afghanistan, though the prices for tickets are significantly higher than they usually are.
The Kabul international airport was the site of the suicide bombing that killed dozens of Afghans and 13 U.S. service members during the final evacuations from the country after the Taliban took control. The airport has since been reopened with the help of teams from Qatar and Turkey.
The Taliban’s appeal for resumed international flights comes as it seeks to gain legitimacy and recognition on the international stage. The global community has thus far refrained from recognizing the militant group, which implemented strict policies when it ruled Afghanistan in the 90’s.