Blinken Says American Diplomats Have Left Kabul

WASHINGTON — American diplomats have left Afghanistan, and the U.S. Embassy in Kabul will stay closed, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken mentioned on Monday, after the army introduced that it had accomplished its withdrawal from the nation.

The disintegration of U.S. diplomacy was a surprising turnabout from plans to remain and assist Afghanistan transition away from 20 years of battle and work towards peace, nevertheless tenuous, with a authorities that may share energy with the Taliban. Earlier this month, Mr. Blinken had pledged that the United States would stay “deeply engaged” in Afghanistan lengthy after the army left.

But that mission was largely dashed on Aug. 15, when the Taliban superior into the capital, Kabul, forcing President Ashraf Ghani to flee the nation and American diplomats to evacuate to a compound secured by the U.S. army on the worldwide airport.

Mr. Blinken’s feedback got here because the final U.S. army flights departed Afghanistan, carrying a small core of diplomats who had tried to course of immigration visas for tens of hundreds of Afghans and safe secure passage for about 6,000 American residents in a two-week evacuation mission from the Kabul airport.

American diplomats will stay engaged in Afghanistan, however from outdoors its borders. Mr. Blinken mentioned the trouble would now be led out of Qatar.

Of paramount significance to the Biden administration are the individuals — together with a small variety of U.S. residents — who had been left behind. Officials mentioned fewer than 200 had been nonetheless attempting to go away.

Until lately, the embassy in Kabul was one of many largest American diplomatic missions on the planet. Just weeks earlier than it closed, and the American flag outdoors its headquarters was lowered, the embassy’s workers numbered about 4,000 workers, round 1,400 of whom had been U.S. diplomats, contractors and officers from different U.S. businesses.

Hundreds of American diplomats had served there after the embassy was reclaimed by Marines in December 2001 in the course of the U.S.-led invasion. It had been closed since 1989, when the Soviet army withdrew from Afghanistan after a 10-year battle.

Before Kabul fell, President Biden had promised that the top of the battle would deliver the departure of American troops from Afghanistan, however not its diplomatic corps. Years of pissed off peace talks had been set to proceed between the Taliban and the Afghan authorities, an effort largely fostered by the United States.

“Even as we withdraw our forces from Afghanistan, the United States and our partners remain deeply engaged,” Mr. Blinken mentioned on the State Department on Aug. 2. “Our partnership with the people of Afghanistan will endure long after our service members have departed. We will keep engaging intensely in diplomacy to advance negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban with the goal of a political solution, which we believe is the only path to lasting peace.”

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