The United States, in conjunction with 97 other countries, announced Sunday that it has reached an agreement with the Taliban to allow evacuations of Afghan allies after the Aug. 31 troop withdrawal deadline, according to the State Department.
“We are all committed to ensuring that our citizens, nationals and residents, employees, Afghans who have worked with us and those who are at risk can continue to travel freely to destinations outside Afghanistan,” the joint statement said.
The statement follows National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan’s comments on Sunday reassuring that U.S. negotiations with the Taliban would be upheld. The U.S. has “considerable leverage” to “hold the Taliban to its commitments,” Sullivan said Sunday on CBS News’ Face the Nation.
“We have received assurances from the Taliban that all foreign nationals and any Afghan citizen with travel authorization from our countries will be allowed to proceed in a safe and orderly manner to points of departure and travel outside the country,” the State Department added in its readout.
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The Taliban’s chief negotiator, Sher Mohammed Abas Stanekzai, said Friday that the group would not stop people from departing the country.
The State Department added that it will continue to issue “travel documentation to designated Afghans” and has “the clear expectation of and commitment from the Taliban that they can travel to our respective countries.”
More than 5,500 U.S. citizens have been evacuated from Afghanistan since Aug. 14, including roughly 50 people in the past 24 hours, a State Department spokesperson told the Washington Examiner.
Approximately 250 U.S. citizens remaining in Afghanistan have said they desire to leave the country, according to the State Department. Teams on the ground continue to coordinate assistance for those attempting to flee. There are roughly 280 people who identify as Americans in Afghanistan who remain undecided whether to exit the country or have said they don’t intend to leave, the spokesperson added.
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The State Department said that a number of individuals who at one point self-identified as Americans have been unable to make further contact this week despite multiple attempts by officials on various communication channels. The U.S. could not confirm that all the individuals in this group are U.S. citizens still in Afghanistan, as some are believed to be people in the U.S. who filled out forms to help non-citizen extended family members in the country.
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Tags: News, Afghanistan, Taliban, United States, State Department, Antony Blinken
Original Author: Kaelan Deese
Original Location: State Department announces joint arrangement with 97 countries to evacuate Afghan allies after deadline