state Department working to facilitate departure A senior State Department official said on Monday that about 100 US citizens and legal permanent residents are ready to leave Afghanistan.
The official stressed that the numbers “change every day” as people change their minds or “take advantage of other options they may have to rule out.”
The official told reporters on a call that the State Department is “constantly touching base” on supposed US citizens still in Afghanistan, as well as other governments and airplane carriers trying to arrange charter flights. .
The department is also in contact with private groups organizing charter flights to try to advise them on the complexities associated with these efforts, the official told reporters, adding that “with every charter there are “challenges” that have come to the USG reception point. Mainly in Doha.”
“A bunch of people came out that we weren’t expecting, who don’t necessarily know who they are and we don’t necessarily know who they say they were, as charter operators indicated who they were,” he said. .
“We have stowaways. We have ground crew that got on the plane. We’ve taken a lot of people off flights that don’t appear, they don’t necessarily understand who they are or why they think specifically that they will qualify,” he said.
“In some cases there are minors traveling with us without a parent, traveling without a legal guardian, and there are some big question marks as to why they were on the plane,” the official said.
The official said the State Department is working to see who in that population can “legitimately say that they are at serious risk” – describing it as “those who can demonstrate that they should be held against them.” They’ve got active threats, they’ve got people looking for them” – “unlike those who are simply uncomfortable or afraid of the unknown that comes with the Taliban taking control of the government and the state.”
“Once we get an accurate look at that population, we can better assess and make sure senior leaders have access to the implications of moving those people into the states or keeping them out and keeping them. There is an opportunity to see the limits. Through a regular refugee resettlement process in which some of them may come to the States and some of them may move to other countries that cooperate with UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration,” he said.
The official described the Taliban’s “unpredictability about who is allowed to leave” as the biggest obstacle to the departure of American citizens and others from Afghanistan. The lack of regular commercial air service is another major hurdle, the official said.
“There are a number of contacts and talks going on with the Taliban, especially in Doha, with the remaining members of the Taliban Political Commission who are based there,” the official said.
Credit : edition.cnn.com