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Afghanistan crisis: US proposes that Biman Bangladesh operate evacuation flights

  • Published at 09:30 am August 16th, 2021
File photo of Boeing 777-300 ER flying under the banner of Biman Bangladesh Airlines. Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

The situation in Afghanistan is under observation, according to Foreign Ministry press statement

The US has proposed that Biman Bangladesh Airlines operate evacuation flights from Afghanistan.

They have asked the national flag carrier to evacuate several thousand people, including Afghan citizens who had worked for the US Army, from Afghanistan through third-party channels.

Speaking to Dhaka Tribune, Biman Bangladesh Airlines Managing Director and CEO Dr Abu Saleh Mostafa Kamal said that they are yet to receive any official request from the US government.

“We have heard about it [the proposal] from the media, but we are yet to receive any official confirmation. Currently, Biman doesn’t have any flights operating to or from Afghanistan,” the Biman CEO added.

Also Read - 5 dead at Kabul airport as Afghans make a desperate dash to exit

He said a decision in this regard will be taken after discussions with government high-ups following an official proposal.

Biman officials, seeking anonymity, said US authorities had also proposed that Air Asia and Garuda Indonesia help evacuate around 50,000 people – including army and government personnel – from Kabul.

The latest talks with a third party took place last week but nothing was finalized, they said, adding that relevant authorities in Kabul and the other two other airlines have been contacted in an attempt to assess the current situation in Afghanistan.

Bangladesh voices concern over Afghanistan crisis

Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Foreign Ministry in a statement on Monday voiced concern over the fast-evolving situation in Afghanistan. 

It observed that the developments taking place in the South Asian country “may have an impact on the region and beyond.” 

Bangladesh and Afghanistan share historical and cultural links. It is a fellow member of Saarc and an integral part of South Asia. 

Bangladesh recalls the invaluable support extended by the government and the people of Afghanistan to Bangladesh during the War of Liberation. Bangladesh is committed to working with Afghanistan to fulfill Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s vision of a region that grows and prospers together, read the release.

Also Read - Airlines reroute flights to avoid Afghanistan airspace

Bangladesh said that it believes that a democratic and pluralistic Afghanistan, as chosen by its people, is the only guarantee of stability and development in the country.

The country considers itself a potential development partner and a friend of Afghanistan, the release said, adding that it is upon the people of Afghanistan to rebuild their country and decide the course of the future themselves.

The Bangladesh government also wished to see Afghanistan as a peaceful, stable, prosperous, responsible, and contributing member of the South Asian region and the global community. 

Bangladesh said that it would be happy to continue to work with the people of Afghanistan and the international community for the socio-economic development of the country. 

The Foreign Ministry also urged all the stakeholders in Afghanistan to maintain peace and calm to ensure the safety and security of all, including foreign nationals.

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