Another flight carrying those seeking to leave Taliban rule in Afghanistan left on Friday with Canadians on board, Global News has learned.
An official government source told Global News a passenger plane destined for Doha, Qatar left Kabul earlier Friday. It’s unclear how many Canadians left the country, but an update is expected later in the day.
The development comes after 43 Canadians were among 200 foreigners who were flown from Kabul to Doha aboard a commercial jet on Thursday. It was the first large-scale departure since U.S. and foreign forces left Afghanistan on Aug. 31 – ending a military presence there that spanned two decades.
43 Canadians among 200 onboard commercial flight out of Kabul
Minister of Foreign Affairs Marc Garneau said Thursday that the 43 Canadians will be back in Canada in the coming days.
“Canada has been working closely with Qatar to ensure safe passage for Canadian citizens still in Afghanistan who are seeking to leave, and we thank them for their continued support,” he said.
“We are working tirelessly, including through close cooperation with our international partners, to bring home remaining Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their families and the vulnerable Afghans who have supported Canada’s work in Afghanistan.”
U.S. ‘welcomes’ Taliban cooperation as first flight leaves Afghanistan after withdrawal
In addition to Friday’s flight, the government source said officials estimate that 1,290 Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their family members remain in Afghanistan.
That number includes about 440 Canadian citizens, 260 permanent residents, and roughly 590 family members, which together represent about 300 family groupings. Those numbers are expected to fluctuate, the source added.
Thursday’s Qatar Airways flight to Doha was a breakthrough moment between U.S. and Afghanistan’s new Taliban regime. It came following a dayslong stand-off over charter planes at another airport, which left dozens of passengers stranded and cast doubt on Taliban promises to allow foreigners and Afghans with proper travel documents to leave the country.
U.S. helps bring refugees to Canada, but 1,250 Canadians remain in Afghanistan
Since the Taliban regained control of the country on Aug. 15, coalition countries led by the United States scrambled for weeks to evacuate nationals and Afghans fleeing Taliban rule.
Canada evacuated roughly 3,700 people from Afghanistan during that time, while the U.S. and its allies evacuated more than 123,000 people in two weeks.
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