Blinken says Taliban renew promise to let Afghans ‘freely depart’

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday that the Taliban renewed promises to let Afghans leave freely amid concern over blocked chartered flights.

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The Taliban told the United States that “they will let people with travel documents freely depart,” Blinken told a news conference.

“We will hold them to that,” he said.

The US secretary of state said they identified “relatively” small number of Americans seeking to depart from Afghanistan’s Mazar-i-Sharif.

Blinken said the US is working to make sure charter flights can leave Afghanistan safely.

Speaking in Qatar at a press conference alongside Qatar Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, Blinken said Taliban officials had told the US they will let people with travel documents freely depart Afghanistan .

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For his part, Qatar’s foreign minister said his country hoped that Kabul airport would be up and running for passengers in the next few days, but that no agreement on how to run it had yet been reached.

Sheikh Mohammed said he had discussed recent evacuations from Afghanistan with US officials.

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