The Taliban are in talks with Qatar and Turkey about the management of Kabul airport as it lacks air traffic control services now that the United States military has withdrawn from Afghanistan.
The talks are aimed at securing the airport as soon as possible so that people who want to leave Afghanistan can do so using commercial flights, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Tuesday.
“The Security Council resolution about securing the airport must be implemented. There are talks under way with the Qataris and Turks about management of the airport. We must demand that access to the airport is safe,” Le Drian said on France 2 television.
With the withdrawal of the US, American civil aircraft are barred from operating over the country unless given prior authorisation, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said on Monday.
The FAA said in a statement that “due to both the lack of air traffic services and a functional civil aviation authority in Afghanistan, as well as ongoing security concerns, US civil operators, pilots, and US-registered civil aircraft are prohibited from operating at any altitude over much of Afghanistan.”
Earlier this month, the US military said it had assumed air traffic control responsibilities in Kabul to facilitate the evacuation of tens of thousands of people from Afghanistan.
The FAA said US civil operators “may continue to use one high-altitude jet route near the far eastern border for overflights. Any US civil aircraft operator that wants to fly into/out of or over Afghanistan must receive prior authorisation from the FAA.”
On August 18, the FAA said US air carriers and civilian pilots could fly into Kabul to conduct evacuation or relief flights with prior US Defense Department approval. US airlines helped transport thousands of evacuees this month but conducted flights from airports outside Afghanistan.