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US military suspends blacklisting of Afghanistan's Kam Air

The US military has lifted its contracting ban on Kam Air just one week after accusing the Afghan carrier of facilitating opium smuggling to Tajikistan.

Accusations by unnamed US military officials, quoted in The Wall Street Journal, had provoked a furious response from both the airline and Afghanistan's transport ministry, in turn straining diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Confirming that talks between senior officials from the US military and the Afghan government were subsequently held on 2 February, Kam Air says it "commends" the decision to lift the ban.

"Kam Air will continue to cooperate with Afghan, US and coalition officials to address any issues or concerns they may have about the operation of our airline," says airline president Zemarai Kamgar.

"We remain committed to addressing - and correcting, if necessary - any and all allegations cited in the US Central Command's Memorandum of 18 January 2013."

The Aghan government will now conduct a "thorough examination of Kam Air's business practices", the company says, and its findings will be shared with US forces. In return, the US military will also share "previously withheld" evidence motivating the ban.

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