The new Taliban-led Afghan government must live up to its commitments to allow safe passage for those looking to leave Afghanistan, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said. Speaking from Germany on Wednesday during a virtual meeting of the foreign ministers of United States-allied nations, Blinken outlined three “core objectives” of US policy towards Afghanistan following the completed withdrawal of American troops from the country.
Enabling the departures of people seeking to leave, “preventing terrorist groups from using Afghanistan as a base”, and ensuring a flow of humanitarian assistance top the Biden administration’s agenda, Blinken said. “We must hold the Taliban, including the recently announced caretaker government and any eventual Afghan government, to their commitment to allow foreign nationals, visa holders, and Afghans to travel outside the country if they wish,” he said. “The Taliban has said repeatedly that any Afghans who want to travel and have the appropriate documents will be able to do so.”
He specifically urged the Taliban to allow the departure of charter flights seeking to evacuate American citizens and vulnerable Afghans from the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. According to reports, hundreds of people have been waiting for clearance to leave the airport there for several days.


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