Blinken Says Taliban Reminded of Pledge to Allow People to Leave Afghanistan 

  • Date of Publication : 7/09/2021 at 11:15 GMT
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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday the Taliban had been reminded in recent hours that the international community is holding the group to its commitment to let anyone with valid travel papers leave Afghanistan if they choose. Speaking during a visit to Qatar, Blinken said the number of U.S. citizens, including dual nationals, believed to still be in Afghanistan is about 100. He said the State Department is in direct contact with them, with case managers assigned to each one to make sure those who want to leave can do so. He said in the past 24 hours the Taliban had upheld its commitment in the case of a family of four Americans who had safely left Afghanistan using an overland route. A senior State Department official said Monday the Taliban was aware of the crossing, without specifying which country the Americans entered. Blinken also expressed “deep gratitude to the Qatari people” for the country’s role in the massive evacuation of U.S. citizens, at-risk Afghans and foreign nationals following the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan. He said that for many of the 58,000 people who transited through Doha, the stop in Qatar was the first “on a journey to a more peaceful and hopeful future.” “What Qatar has done here for Americans, for Afghans, for citizens of many other countries, will be remembered for a long, long time,” Blinken said.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday the Taliban had been reminded in recent hours that the international community is holding the group to its commitment to let anyone with valid travel papers leave Afghanistan if they choose.

Speaking during a visit to Qatar, Blinken said the number of U.S. citizens, including dual nationals, believed to still be in Afghanistan is about 100. He said the State Department is in direct contact with them, with case managers assigned to each one to make sure those who want to leave can do so.

He said in the past 24 hours the Taliban had upheld its commitment in the case of a family of four Americans who had safely left Afghanistan using an overland route. A senior State Department official said Monday the Taliban was aware of the crossing, without specifying which country the Americans entered.

Blinken also expressed “deep gratitude to the Qatari people” for the country’s role in the massive evacuation of U.S. citizens, at-risk Afghans and foreign nationals following the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan. He said that for many of the 58,000 people who transited through Doha, the stop in Qatar was the first “on a journey to a more peaceful and hopeful future.”

“What Qatar has done here for Americans, for Afghans, for citizens of many other countries, will be remembered for a long, long time,” Blinken said.

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