Copy of 599572-01-02-1629905450161
A handout picture released by the US embassy in Kuwait on August 17, 2021, shows American citizens and Kabul embassy personnel boarding an airplane to the United States at the Kuwait international airport in the capital amid ongoing evacuations from Afghanistan. Image Credit: AFP

Cairo: The first group of Afghans evacuated from their troubled homeland has arrived in Kuwait, which has agreed to allow 5,000 Afghans to transit in it.

“First flight of at-risk Afghan evacuees arrived safely to a coalition military installation in Kuwait,” US Ambassador in Kuwait Alina Romanowski said.

The evacuees were welcomed by US and Kuwaiti military and diplomatic personnel, she added on Twitter. “Up to 5,000 Afghans will transit in Kuwait before heading to the US and other destinations,” the envoy said.

Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Ahmed Al Nasser said in a phone call with his Canadian counterpart Marc Garneau that Kuwait stresses the importance of safe repatriation of diplomats and foreign civilians.

After the Taliban’s recent takeover of Afghanistan, Western powers have launched large-scale evacuations of their citizens and local allies deemed at risk of reprisals from the Taliban fighters.

The group’s return to power has prompted thousands of Afghans to desperately seek to leave the country.

The Taliban ruled Afghanistan with an iron grip in the 1990s before it was toppled in a US-led invasion in 2001 following the 9/11 attacks.