The Taliban is blocking Americans from leaving Afghanistan due to lack of proper documentation: Blinken

The Taliban has prevented Americans from leaving Afghanistan because US citizens are not properly qualified, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken claimed on Tuesday.

Top Republicans in parliament said on Sunday that the Taliban are blocking Americans from leaving the Mazar-i-Sharif airport in northern Afghanistan.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Michael McCaul (Republican) said six planes had been prevented from leaving the facility, adding that the Taliban had taken Americans “hostage for demand.”

Marina LeGree, executive director of Ascend, a non-profit organization operating in Afghanistan, told AFP that more than 600 Afghans in addition to 19 Americans have been prevented from leaving the airport in question.

Blinken admitted that “a relatively small number of Americans” are trying to leave Mazar-i-Sharif with their families. But even if he admits that the State Department can’t verify manifests and documents because the United States no longer exists in the Taliban, he blames Americans for their lack of proper documentation. It seemed to be locating.

“One of the challenges, as we understand, is a group of people, including the appropriate travel documents (American passport, green card, visa). Some have, some do not, and it is my understanding that Tullivan does not deny leaving anyone who has a valid document, but they do have a valid document at this time. “People who don’t have it say they can’t leave,” he told reporters in Qatar.

“But all of these people are grouped together, which means that flights aren’t allowed to go,” he added. “We are unaware of situations like people or hostages being held in aircraft. Therefore, we need to meet different requirements, and that’s exactly what we do.”

US officials were involved with the Taliban authorities in the hours leading up to Blinken’s remarks and were convinced that the terrorist group remained committed to leaving Americans with the right documents.

“They say they are free to leave those who have travel documents. We stick to it,” Blinken said.

Epoch Times Photo
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Tani of Qatar will hold a joint news conference on September 7, 2021 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Doha, Qatar.

The Taliban hijacked Afghanistan from a US-backed government in mid-August. The United States has set up an airport in Kabul and has evacuated more than 120,000 people, mainly Afghan people, and has openly cooperated with the group for 17 days.

When the U.S. military withdrew on August 30, 100 to 200 Americans were left behind, breaking the promise of President Joe Biden to expel all Americans who wanted to leave.

About 100 Americans remain in Afghanistan, according to Blinken, and State Department officials are in direct contact “with virtually all Americans.”

Biden administration officials sought to portray those who could not escape before the U.S. military withdrew as a dual citizen torn between their evacuation and stay.

Some external estimates indicate that as many as 500 Americans are stuck in Afghanistan. Republicans are pressing the government to provide 100%, but authorities say the numbers are constantly changing as more people leave and some who have already left confirm. , Declined their departure with the State Department.

Authorities allowed the evacuation of families leaving the country by land, but Corey Mills said he had organized rescue operations. Said Fox News that agency officials did little to help the four who were able to understand it.

“This is an attempt to save the face by the administration for the Americans they left behind,” he said.

Zachary Stieber

Zachary Stieber covers US news, including politics and proceedings. He started in The Epoch Times as a metro reporter for New York City.