Blinken: US ‘on-the-ground diplomatic presence’ unlikely in Kabul after withdrawal deadline

Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned Sunday that it’s unlikely the US will preserve an “on-the-ground diplomatic presence” in Afghanistan on September 1 however reaffirmed President Joe Biden ‘s dedication to evacuate anybody who needs to depart the nation previous the troop withdrawal deadline.

In an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd on Meet the Press, Blinken defended the dealing with of the U.S. evacuation efforts in Kabul, pushing again towards critics who claimed the Biden administration jeopardized the security of Individuals and allies through the course of.

“First, by way of having an on-the-ground diplomatic presence on September 1, that is not prone to occur. However what’s going to occur is that our dedication to proceed to assist folks go away Afghanistan who need to go away and who will not be out by September 1, that endures,” Blinken mentioned.

“There is not any deadline on that effort. And we’ve methods, we’ve mechanisms to assist facilitate the continued departure of individuals from Afghanistan in the event that they select to depart,” the secretary of state added.


Blinken additionally denied allegations that the administration put lives in danger after a report from final week claimed the U.S. supplied the Taliban with a listing of individuals to grant entry at Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport.

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“The concept we have achieved something to place at additional threat people who we’re attempting to assist go away the nation is solely fallacious. And the concept we shared lists of Individuals or others with the Taliban is solely fallacious,” Blinken mentioned.

Biden beforehand mentioned he couldn’t confirm particular experiences of civilian data being shared with the Taliban however mentioned it does occur on “event,” explaining that the U.S. has knowledgeable the Taliban when there have been evacuees who wanted to be let by way of the airport gates.

“In particular cases once you’re attempting to get a bus or a gaggle of individuals by way of, and it’s essential present a manifest to try this, as a result of notably in instances the place folks do not have the mandatory credentials on them or paperwork on them, then you definitely would — you may share names on a listing of individuals on the bus to allow them to be assured that these are those that we’re wanting to usher in. And by definition, that is precisely what’s occurred,” Blinken defined on Sunday.

The secretary of state mentioned Sunday that 5,500 Individuals have been evacuated from the nation, including “We now have about 300 Americans left, who’ve indicated to us that they need to go away.”

Greater than 110,000 folks have been evacuated from Hamid Karzai Worldwide Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, this month, with all however roughly 5,000 having come since August 14.

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