US praises Taliban for ‘professional’ evacuation support

Washington praised the Taliban’s professionalism and cooperation in facilitating the first evacuation of Americans since the country’s withdrawal from Afghanistan.

US National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne said on September 9 that the evacuation flight departing from the Afghan capital Kabul to Doha, Qatar, on a chartered Qatar Airways aircraft marked “an integrated first step”. pole” with the interim government in Afghanistan.

“Taliban has cooperated to facilitate the departure of US citizens and lawful permanent residents from Hamid Karzai International Airport by chartered aircraft. They have shown flexibility, professionalism and methodicality when implementing agreements. agree with us in the evacuation effort,” Horne said, thanking Qatar for help.

Taliban soldiers stand guard at Kabul airport, where a Qatar Airways plane carrying Americans was evacuated from Afghanistan on September 9.  Photo: AFP.

Taliban soldiers stand guard at Kabul airport, where a Qatar Airways plane carrying Americans was evacuated from Afghanistan on September 9. Photo: AFP.

More than 30 US citizens or permanent residents were invited to evacuate, but US officials are verifying the actual number of people who boarded the flight, State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

“Of course we’d love to see more flights like this,” Price said. “We’ve heard public statements that in fact there are probably more trips than that.”

Earlier, Washington said more than 100 Americans remained in Afghanistan after President Joe Biden ordered a complete withdrawal by the end of August, ending a 20-year military mission. The war left more than 123,000 people dead, including US citizens.

Price said that most of the Americans who stay have a lot of ties to Afghanistan, it’s difficult to make a decision whether to leave or not, and there’s no need to decide right away. “This opportunity doesn’t expire if they change their mind next year or the year after,” he said.

Monday’s evacuation flight comes two days after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Qatar, the transit point for about half of the people who leave Afghanistan by air. Biden and his administration are being fiercely criticized for leaving Americans in the hands of the Taliban.

Representative Mike Waltz and Senator Lindsey Graham, two Republicans who have been fierce critics of the withdrawal decision, welcomed the Qatari flight. However, they assessed that “it cannot be justified that the Biden administration has allowed a terrorist regime to condition Americans to leave with their families”.

Hong Hanh (Follow AFP)

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