“Today, 10 Canadian citizens were on board a flight organized by Qatar, which departed from Kabul, Afghanistan, for Doha,” Garneau tweeted.
“They will be arriving in Canada within days.”
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.
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.”
In addition to Friday’s flight, an anonymous government source told Global News that 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 days-long standoff 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.
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.