Blinken: the US is trying to permit Afghanistan charter flights


On Tuesday (Sept. 7), US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that the US is trying to guarantee that charter planes carrying American residents and at-risk Afghans may safely depart Afghanistan.
He said that the US was in talks with the Taliban, which took control in Afghanistan last month. Taliban officials had assured Washington that individuals with travel documents would be allowed to leave the country.
Blinken refuted allegations that the Taliban had stopped Americans from flying out of a northern Afghan city but claimed the organization had refused to let charter planes leave because some passengers did not have legitimate travel credentials.
Over the last several days, reports have surfaced that 1,000 passengers, including Americans, have been delayed for days at Mazar-i-Sharif airport waiting for authorization to board their charter aircraft.
Republicans have criticized the State Department for the delay, claiming that not enough has been done to allow charter flights. Blinken was addressing at a press conference in Qatar, a US ally that has emerged as a significant friend of the Taliban, who seized control in Kabul on Aug. 15 when the Western-backed government fell apart.
According to Blinken, the US has identified a “quite modest” number of Americans trying to leave Mazar-i-Sharif. However, one of the significant issues with the charter planes attempting to depart was that several passengers lacked legal travel documents, thus preventing the entire party from leaving, he added.
“And it’s my understanding that the Taliban hasn’t barred anyone with a legal document from leaving, but they have indicated that those without proper paperwork can’t leave at this time,” Blinken added. “Flights haven’t been permitted to depart because all of these individuals are clustered together,” he explained.


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