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Taliban Says It Will Resume Passport Services In Afghanistan

kabul Afghans gather outside the passport office in Kabul after Taliban officials announced they will start issuing passports again in October.

The Taliban authorities in Afghanistan have announced that they will resume issuing passports, providing a window of hope for those who have applied for travel documents in an effort to leave the country.

An official from the passport department of the Taliban's Interior Ministry told reporters on December 18 that Kabul's passport office would begin issuing documents again the next day.

Tens of thousands of people sought to leave the country after the Taliban returned to power on August 15, but many Afghans were turned away from the airport because they lacked passports.

The passport office in Kabul was briefly opened in October but was shut down again after biometric equipment broke down.

"All the technical issues have now been resolved," Taliban passport official Alam Gul Haqqani announced on December 18. He said preference would be given to those who applied before the Kabul office was shut down in October.

The issuance of passports is seen by the international community as a test of the Taliban's commitment to its pledges to allow people to evacuate the country amid a worsening economic and humanitarian crisis.

A U.S. State Department official recently told The Wall Street Journal that at least 62,000 Afghans seeking asylum in the United States remain in Afghanistan, and 33,000 had been vetted and approved for evacuation.

With reporting by AFP
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