White Property push secretary Jen Psaki acknowledged that about 100 American citizens are nonetheless in Afghanistan but wouldn’t say no matter if the Condition Department or the Taliban ended up responsible for keeping up flights at Mazar-i-Sharif airport — blaming incorrect paperwork as an alternative.
Talking to reporters on Air Power One particular as President Biden and administration officers traveled on Tuesday to watch the storm problems in New York and New Jersey, Psaki was questioned if stories indicating 100 People stay in Afghanistan had been exact.
“It’s just below that. I consider the Condition Office has provided figures that as you might have observed out there described above the weekend, there have been four American citizens who ended up capable to depart overland. That is one of the methods that we are performing with American citizens to get out of the place,” Psaki mentioned.
Questioned about the planes sitting down for days on the tarmac at the Mazar-i-Sharif airport, Psaki echoed Secretary of Condition Antony Blinken in blaming documentation for the delays.
“We’re performing to get just about every one American citizen, any individual who has documentation out of the state, and I believe our secretary of condition also spoke to this on the ground in Qatar exactly where he conveyed that he has not gained studies … that men and women who have documentation have been stopped,” she stated.
Blinken acknowledged that there was a “relatively small number” of Americans hoping to leave Mazar-i-Sharif and that the Taliban ended up allowing US citizens and Afghan allies and their people depart as lengthy as they have the suitable travel files.
But all those missing the correct paperwork are getting held up, he explained.
“On these charter flights, as I stated, 1 of the difficulties has been that, as we recognize it, there are groups of people who are grouped alongside one another, some of whom have the suitable travel documents – an American passport, a environmentally friendly card, a visa – and other individuals do not,” Blinken mentioned.
“And it’s my knowing that the Taliban has not denied exit to any individual keeping a legitimate document, but they have said that people without legitimate files at this issue can not leave. But due to the fact all of these folks are grouped with each other, that is intended that flights have not been authorized to go,” he continued.
Blinken, who is in Qatar with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to thank the Gulf state’s leaders for enabling the US to use it as a hub for Us citizens and Afghan refugees, claimed the US doesn’t have obtain to the passenger manifests on the charter flights.
“Without personnel on the floor, we just can’t verify the precision of manifests, the identities of travellers, flight strategies, or aviation stability protocols. So this is a problem, but one particular we are decided to work via,” Blinken explained.
The US military done its withdrawal from the place previous 7 days, ending America’s longest war.
Blinken also pushed back on claims that Taliban fighters were keeping People in america hostage in Afghanistan by not enabling them to leave on flights out of the state.
“We are not conscious of any one currently being held on an plane or any hostage lifetime circumstance in Mazar-i-Sharif,” Blinken mentioned throughout a push conference in Doha, Qatar, wherever he arrived Monday.
In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas) claimed the Taliban were being holding Us citizens hostage at Mazar-i-Sharif by not allowing their flights to leave.
“In point, we have six airplanes at Mazar-i-Sharif airport, 6 airplanes, with American citizens on them as I communicate, also with these interpreters, and the Taliban is holding them hostage for demands appropriate now,” McCaul, the top rated Republican on the Dwelling Overseas Affairs Committee, reported.
But an official with a non-governmental agency told Newsweek that the Taliban grounded six planes chartered by a Glenn Beck-established charity in Mazar-i-Sharif.
The NGO official explained a lot more than 1,600 persons, such as more than 100 Individuals, had been envisioned to be evacuated on the planes, which were being chartered by Mercury A single from Kam Air, Afghanistan’s most significant airline.
“The planes are now vacant and its travellers are even now ready in their safe homes for clearance for takeoff from the Taliban,” the official explained to the publication.
Yet another NGO official reported the flights have not still left due to the fact the Taliban has not supplied “final clearance” amid negotiations with the Condition Department.