The United States on Friday facilitated the departure of 21 American nationals and 11 Green Card holders, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. "As part of our ongoing commitment, today we facilitated the departure from Afghanistan of 21 US citizens and 11 Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs), Blinken said in a statement.
Specifically, the department assisted two US citizens and 11 LPRs depart Afghanistan via an overland route, he said, adding that the department provided guidance to them, worked to facilitate their safe passage, and embassy officials greeted them once they had crossed the border. Additionally, another Qatar Airways charter flight departed Kabul with 19 US citizens aboard. While we offered seats to 44 US citizens, not all of them chose to travel. We are deeply grateful to the continued efforts of Qatar in facilitating limited operations at Kabul International Airport and helping to ensure the safety of these flights, Blinken said.
In a series of tweets, US Special Representatives for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad said that over the last three days, over 250 foreign nationals, including dozens of US citizens and permanent residents, departed Kabul unhindered on Qatari flights. This is positive. Our thanks go out to Qatar for its help facilitating these flights, and we welcome the Taliban's cooperation in this important effort. We will continue to engage the government of Qatar, the Taliban, and others to ensure the safe passage of our citizens, other foreign nationals, and Afghans that want to leave, Khalilzad said.
Blinken in a phone call with Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani conveyed US appreciation for Qatar's help facilitating the travel of US citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, and others from Kabul. He also commended the Government of Qatar for its work to safely evacuate people from Afghanistan, and thanked the Foreign Minister for hosting his visit earlier this week. White House National Security Council Spokesperson Emily Horne said that the US is continuing intensive work across the US government to facilitate the safe transit of these individuals and other US citizens, LPRs, and Afghans who have worked for the US who wish to leave Afghanistan.
Because there is an ongoing terrorist threat to operations of this nature, we will not be sharing details of these efforts before people are safely out of the country. We are deeply grateful to the continued efforts of Qatar in facilitating operations at the Kabul International Airport and continuing to help ensure the safety of charter flights, she said. "Today's departures demonstrate how we are giving Americans clear and safe options to leave Afghanistan from different locations. A number of Americans have taken these options; some have decided not to, for a variety of reasons. That is their right. We understand these are difficult decisions. We will continue to provide proven options for leaving. It is up to Americans who remain whether they choose to take them, Horne said.