US Special Envoy Khalilzad Pressured the Taliban to Allow Departure of 200 Americans, Other Foreigners

Two days after they announced an interim all-male government made up wanted terror suspects and Islamist hardliners, among others, the Taliban have allowed 200 Americans and other foreigners to depart from Kabul airport on charter flights, Reuters reports.

The sudden decision has allegedly happened with the help of US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad, who pressed the Taliban to allow the departures at the talks.

According to the news agency, the planes with the foreigners who remained in Afghanistan after the completion of the US evacuation operation are expected to depart on Thursday and will be among the first international flights to take off from Kabul airport since the Taliban seized Kabul in mid-August.

Kabul airport, which is a vital link for those still seeking to flee the country, was reopened early last week – first time since Aug. 31- to receive humanitarian aid and the first domestic flights within Afghanistan.

No one could confirm if these Americans were among people stranded for days in Mazar-i-Sharif because their private charters were not allowed to depart.

Although State Secretary Antony Blinken stressed on Wednesday it’s the Taliban did not let the planes leave the country, assuring that Washington is working to resolve the issue.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki, on the other hand, underscored that due to safety concerns, Washington isn’t going to allow charter flights with unvetted passengers from Afghanistan to land on US military bases.

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