Blinken To Visit Qatar, Germany To Coordinate With Allies On Resettlement Of Afghans
By RFE/RL September 04, 2021
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on September 3 that he will travel to Qatar and Germany next week to coordinate with allies on how to resettle more than 100,000 Afghans who have fled their war-torn nation.
Blinken told reporters in Washington that he will fly to Doha on September 5 to thank Qatari leaders for their help during the tumultuous, U.S-led evacuation of people from Afghanistan last month after the Taliban overran the capital of Kabul.
He said he will then travel to Germany, where he will hold a ministerial meeting with 20 other countries that have a stake in relocating and settling the Afghans who escaped.
The United States' longest war culminated last month with a hastily organized airlift that left thousands of U.S.-allied Afghans behind and was punctuated by a suicide bombing outside Kabul's airport that killed scores of Afghans and 13 U.S. troops.
Blinken said the State Department was "in constant contact" with Americans remaining in Afghanistan who still wish to leave the country. He said most of them are dual nationals whose homes and families are in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon said that Defense Minister Lloyd Austin will travel to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait next week on a similar mission.
Austin "will meet with regional partners and thank them for their cooperation with the United States as we evacuated Americans, Afghans, and citizens from other nations from Afghanistan," Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.
With reporting by Reuters and AP
Copyright (c) 2021. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|