The jets will be among the first international flights to leave Kabul airport since the Taliban took control of the city in mid-August, prompting the US-led evacuation of 124,000 foreigners and at-risk Afghans.
After the new Taliban administration agreed to their departure, 200 Americans and other foreigners who remain in Afghanistan will depart on charter aircraft from Kabul on Thursday. The jets will be among the first international flights to leave Kabul airport since the Taliban took control of the city in mid-August, prompting the US-led evacuation of 124,000 foreigners and at-risk Afghans.
The move comes just two days after the Taliban announced a transitional government made up primarily of ethnic Pashtun men, including wanted terrorist suspects and Islamist hardliners, defying Western expectations for a more moderate government. The official could not confirm whether American Americans and other foreign people were among those stranded for days at Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, after their private charters were denied permission to leave.
The Taliban’s announcement of a new administration on Tuesday was widely interpreted as an indication that they were not attempting to expand their base and present a more friendly face to the outside world as they had previously said. Foreign countries greeted the interim administration with caution and dismay on Wednesday. Hundreds of Afghan women took to the streets to protest.
Many critics asked the leadership to respect basic human rights and revive the economy, which is on the danger of collapsing due to severe inflation, food shortages, and the threat of reduced foreign assistance as countries seek to isolate the Taliban. “No one in the Biden administration would claim that the Taliban are regarded and cherished members of the world society,” White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
The European Union expressed its disappointment with the nominees, but stressed that humanitarian aid would continue to be provided. Long-term support would be conditional on the Taliban abiding by basic human rights. Saudi Arabia voiced confidence in the new administration’s capacity to help Afghanistan achieve “security and stability while rejecting violence and extremism.” According to observers, the cabinet’s makeup may make it difficult for Western countries to recognize the country, which will be necessary for increasing economic involvement.