Blinken: Taliban not blocking departure for U.S. passport, visa holders


Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated Tuesday the Taliban isn't always blockading people with valid journey files from leaving Afghanistan however conceded that some outgoing flights, which include for a group at an worldwide airport within the northern part of the country, were stalled.

The flights out of Afghanistan have reputedly been held again, Blinken said, as the ones eligible evacuees continue to be intermixed with different individuals who are looking for to flee the u . S . But aren't in possession of the essential documentation.

“There are groups of those who are grouped together, some of whom have the best journey documents — an American passport, a green card, a visa — and others do now not,” Blinken informed journalists at a news convention in Doha, Qatar.

“It’s my expertise that the Taliban has no longer denied exit to all and sundry conserving a legitimate record, but they've stated that those with out legitimate documents at this point can’t depart,” Blinken stated. “But due to the fact all of those humans are grouped collectively, that’s meant that flights have not been allowed to go.”

Blinken’s feedback came after the State Department showed Monday that four Americans had been evacuated overland from Afghanistan into a bordering country. But reviews imply that greater than 1,000 humans, along with some Americans, are nonetheless stranded at Mazar-i-Sharif International Airport in northern Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, Blinken stated the State Department had identified “a distinctly small number of Americans who we accept as true with are seeking to go away from Mazar-i-Sharif with their families.”

“We were confident, again, that each one American citizens and Afghan citizens with valid travel files will be allowed to leave,” Blinken stated, adding: “It’s my knowledge that the Taliban has no longer denied go out to anyone preserving a valid record.”

White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that “just beneath 100” American citizens had been nonetheless in Afghanistan, telling newshounds aboard Air Force One the administration changed into “operating to get every single American citizen and each character who has documentation out of the country.”

But Psaki also acknowledged the problems going through U.S. Officers as they sought to facilitate the departure of constitution flights out of Mazar-i-Sharif and decide what number of American citizens have been aboard the aircraft.

“While we're in touch with American citizens without delay, beyond that, we don’t have an assessment of [flight] manifests [and] what security protocols and measures are taken. So there are reams of problems that we’re working through,” Psaki said.

“What we've got visible is individuals who have documentation are able to go away ... But, once more, we don’t have a high-quality deal of knowledge of every individual on those manifests,” Psaki delivered.

Both Blinken and Psaki also denied claims by using Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), the top Republican at the House Foreign Affairs Committee, that the Taliban was conserving American residents and Afghan allies at the airport hostage until the USA recognized the militant organization as the rightful rulers of Afghanistan.

“We are not privy to each person being hung on an aircraft or any hostage-like state of affairs in Mazar-i-Sharif,” Blinken said. “So we ought to work through the specific requirements, and that’s precisely what we’re doing.”