The Taliban have again promised the Americans that they will let Afghans who wish to leave the country freely, said US foreign minister Antony Blinken, visiting Qatar on Tuesday.
The Islamists, new masters of Kabul, have said they will “let people with travel documents go freely,” he told a press conference in Doha. “We will wait for them on this issue.”
The reopening of Kabul airport soon?
Joe Biden’s administration is under pressure in the face of sometimes confused information about several hundred people, including Americans, stranded at Mazar-i-Sharif airport in northern Afghanistan according to an American NGO. “The entire international community is waiting for the Taliban to honor this commitment,” added Antony Blinken, accompanied by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
Qatar for its part reaffirmed that the Kabul airport, closed since the departure of the last Americans at the end of August, would reopen soon, without giving a date. This is the first trip to the region by senior American officials since the Taliban seized power on August 15 and the departure two weeks later of the last American soldiers present in Kabul.
Taliban government expected
Antony Blinken and Lloyd Austin want to discuss an issue that has become both a major geopolitical issue and a potential humanitarian crisis, which are mobilizing the international community.
The Taliban on Monday claimed to have taken control of all of Afghanistan, claiming to have brought down the Panchir Valley, where the local resistance leader, Ahmad Massoud, called to rise up against them. Politically, the composition of the new Taliban executive is still pending. Analysts believe that the Islamists were themselves taken aback by the speed of their rise to power and did not have time to prepare for the future.