Secretary of State Tony Blinken will speak about the historically unprecedented effort to repatriate Americans from Afghanistan and focus on what the department has done to provide tailored assistance to the Americans as an effort to get them out of the country, according to a senior State Department official.
President Biden said yesterday that Blinken will also give specific numbers on how many Americans are still in the country and want to get out.
“Tomorrow, I’ve asked Secretary Blinken to give you an update and a detailed report on exactly how many Americans are still in Afghanistan and how many we got out and what our projection is,” President Biden said yesterday.
Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said that 4,400 Americans had been evacuated but did not provide a total number of Americans that are still in need of evacuation, during the pentagon briefing on Wednesday morning.
Blinken will also speak about the enduring US commitment to Afghans. But when the US leaves the airport it will be incredibly challenging for Afghans to get out of the country, as the Taliban have said they will not allow them to leave the country and it is unclear if the Kabul airport will remain open.
The Biden administration is in touch with US allies about securing the Kabul airport and efforts to keep it up and running, the State Department official said. It is unclear if there will be any agreement to keep the airport open by the time the US military leaves.
Kirby said that how the airport is managed when the US leaves will be the responsibility of the Taliban. He noted that the Turks still have a presence at the airport, but said he did not want to speak to their intention going forward.