Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday denied statements that the Taliban are keeping American citizens hostage in Afghanistan by refusing to permit flights to go away the state.
“We are not mindful of anybody currently being held on an plane or any hostage lifetime situation in Mazar-i-Sharif,” Blinken said during a press meeting in Doha, Qatar, where he arrived Monday.
He and Protection Secretary Lloyd Austin are in Qatar to meet up with with their counterparts and thank them for allowing for the US to use the Gulf state as a hub for evacuating American citizens and Afghan allies.
Blinken acknowledged that some Us citizens had been nonetheless awaiting evacuation in Afghanistan and stated the Taliban has assured the Biden administration that US citizens and Afghans with the suitable paperwork will be ready to go away.
“We’ve been able to determine a comparatively modest quantity of Us citizens who we imagine are trying to get to depart from Mazar-i-Sharif with their families. We have been assured, yet again, that all American citizens and Afghan citizens with legitimate travel documents will be authorized to depart,” Blinken mentioned.
“And once more, we intend to keep the Taliban to that,” he continued.
But, he explained, the Taliban is keeping again all those with out the correct journey documents.
“Because all of these people are grouped jointly, that’s intended that flights have not been allowed to go,” Blinken said.
Rep. Michael McCaul, the top rated Republican on the Property Foreign Affairs Committee, claimed on Sunday that the Taliban were being refusing to let six airplanes intended to ferry American citizens out of Afghanistan depart Mazar-i-Sharif airport even however the flights ended up cleared by the State Office.
“In truth, we have 6 airplanes at Mazar-i-Sharif airport, 6 airplanes, with American citizens on them as I speak, also with these interpreters, and the Taliban is holding them hostage for requires correct now,” McCaul (R-Texas) claimed on “Fox Information Sunday.”
He reported the planes have been sitting at the airport for a number of times but are “not allowed to leave,” since the Taliban want a quid pro quo.
“We know the rationale why is mainly because the Taliban want a little something in trade. This is actually, Chris, turning into a hostage circumstance where they are not going to permit American citizens to go away right until they get complete recognition from the United States of The united states,” he said.
Other folks have blamed the Point out Section for delaying the planes by not providing the Taliban clearance to make it possible for the flights. A particular person organizing charter flights out of Mazar-i-Sharif for US citizens and Afghans blasted the Condition Office.
“This is zero place to be negotiating with American life. Individuals are our people today standing on the tarmac and all it takes is a f—ing cell phone connect with,” the human being instructed Fox Information.
“If one particular lifestyle is dropped as a result of this, the blood is on the White House’s palms. The blood is on their hands,” the man or woman who is not currently being identified by Fox News to prevent jeopardizing the rescue efforts said.
“It is not the Taliban that is keeping this up – as a lot as it sickens me to say that – it is the United States government,” the individual reported.
Although in Qatar, Blinken toured a processing middle for Afghan refugees at Al-Udeid Air Foundation.
He and Austin achieved with Qatari Overseas Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and protection main Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah.
With Put up wires