Kabul airport had been closed since the end of the massive US-led airlift of its citizens, other Western nationals and Afghans who helped Western countries. The end of that operation marked the withdrawal of the last US forces from Afghanistan after 20 years of war.

The evacuation of tens of thousands of people came amid the rapid takeover of Afghanistan by the Islamist militant group the Taliban, the West's adversary in the two-decade war that followed the 11 September 2001, attacks on the United States.

Thousands of people wanting to leave Afghanistan, fearful of life under Taliban rule, were left behind when the evacuation operation ended at the end of August. The Taliban has promised safe passage for those wanting to leave.

Qatar's foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani, speaking at a joint news conference with Britain's foreign secretary Dominic Raab in Doha on Thursday, said the Gulf state was talking to the Taliban and working with Turkey for potential technical support to restart operations in Kabul airport.

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