UAE sends aid to Kabul in one of 1st flights since Taliban takeover
Kabul, Sep 3 (EFE).- The United Arab Emirates on Friday sent an airplane loaded with medical supplies and food aid to Kabul, one of the few international planes that have touched down in the country since the complete withdrawal of United States-led Nato forces and the subsequent return to power of the Taliban.
“The urgent assistance comes within the framework of the humanitarian role played by the UAE to provide full support to the brotherly Afghan people in such current circumstances by contributing to extending much-needed support to the Afghan people,” the UAE’s foreign ministry said in a statement.
The aid, according to the statement, was a “contribution to meeting the basic needs of thousands of Afghan families, especially the most vulnerable groups such as women, children and the elderly.”
In a press conference at Kabul airport, Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, thanked the UAE for its contribution and said he hoped relations with the Gulf state would prosper.
The Islamist group, which took power in Afghanistan in late August, is expecting further aid deliveries from the UAE.
The relations between the two countries could benefit the Afghan economy after the international community decided to suspend funds designated to the reconstruction of the war-torn nation, which represented some 43% of Afghanistan’s GDP, according to the World Bank.
Continued international funding now depends on whether the Taliban respect human rights established in the country since their last regime was toppled by the US invasion in 2001.
The UAE plane was among the first international flights to land in Afghanistan since the last US troops withdrew from the country after almost two decades of occupation.
The Taliban seized power across the country just 10 days after the US withdrawal process began. Kabul fell to the group on 15 August, although US troops retained control of the airport to evacuate service personnel as well as Afghan colleagues and their families.
Ashraf Ghani, the former president of Afghanistan, fled to the UAE.