Taliban to allow 200 Americans, other civilians to leave Afghanistan: US official

First evacuation since US withdrawal. US government is working with the Taliban to evacuate foreigners. US Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad pressed Taliban authorities to allow foreigners to leave.

Taliban to allow 200 Americans, other civilians to leave Afghanistan: US official

KABUL: Taliban have agreed to allow 200 foreigners stranded in the country to leave via charter flights from Kabul airport, according to a US official who spoke anonymously.

The Taliban had earlier assured nearly 100 countries that they would assist in evacuating the citizens left in Afghanistan after a chaotic US withdrawal that saw thousands of foreign nationals being airlifted in the last two weeks of August.

This happened following the ouster of the Ashraf Ghani government in Kabul.

According to a news report, Taliban authorities have agreed to let 200 American civilians and other foreign nationals who remained in Afghanistan after the end of the US evacuation operation, to depart.

The report stated that they were pressed to allow the departures by US Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad.

The departures were expected on Thursday.

The official could not say whether these Americans and third country nationals were among people stranded for days in Mazar-i-Sharif because their private charters have not been allowed to depart.

Earlier this week, the US had evacuated its first four citizens from Afghanistan via land route.

Citing a senior US State Department official, ABC News reported that they were evacuated without interference from the Taliban.

“Four Americans made their way across the land with Taliban knowledge,” the report had said and added that the official declined to say which country they arrived in but added they were in a “good condition” and met by US embassy staff from the local embassy.

It is pertinent to mention that Pakistan has been assisting foreign governments in their evacuation efforts, which have been lauded internationally.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US, Dr Asad Majeed Khan, had also said that he was unaware of the route taken by the US citizens. He, however, had said Pakistan is ready to provide all kinds of assistance.

“We don’t know what route they used but we have no problem facilitating the evacuation of US citizens from Afghanistan,” he had told Dawn.

He had told the publication that Pakistan has been providing every support that it could to facilitate the evacuation of all those wanting to leave Afghanistan.

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