Blinken to travel to Qatar and Germany to hold meetings on Afghanistan

Filed on September 4, 2021 | Last updated on September 4, 2021 at 12.26 am
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. — AFP

US Secretary of State says they are in constant contact with Americans remaining in Afghanistan who still wish to leave the country

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday he would travel to Qatar on Sunday to meet with the country’s leaders and thank them for their help during the evacuation from Afghanistan, and later proceed to Germany where he will hold a ministerial meeting.

Blinken told a news conference at the State Department he would meet with Afghans and workers in the Qatari capital Doha “who are doing truly heroic work around the clock”.

He said he would travel to the Ramstein Air Base in Germany where he also would meet with Afghans. The ministerial meeting will be held virtually with partners, including more than 20 countries that have a stake in relocating and settling Afghans.

“We continue to maintain channels of communication with the Taliban, on issues that are important,” Blinken said.

Blinken said the State Department was “in constant contact” with Americans remaining in Afghanistan who still wish to leave the country.

He said most of those remaining are dual nationals whose homes are in Afghanistan and whose extended families live there. He also described the department’s efforts since President Joe Biden took office in January to speed the processing of special visas for Afghans who worked with US forces during the 20-year war, thousands of whom are still in the country.

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