About 100 US citizens, permanent residents still waiting to leave Afghanistan – official

US Air Force planes, which were used to evacuate people from Afghanistan, are seen at Al Udeid Air Base in Doha, Qatar on September 4, 2021. REUTERS / Hamad I Mohammed

WASHINGTON, Sept. 27 (Reuters) – The United States is aware of around 100 U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs) who remain in Afghanistan and are ready to leave the country, a senior official in the Department of Foreign Affairs said on Monday. ‘State.

The State Department was working to get these people on flights from Afghanistan, the official said, who told reporters on condition of anonymity.

“Our top priority in Afghanistan, of course, remains to help American citizens who wish to leave the country now to do so,” the official said.

About 124,000 people were airlifted out of Kabul after the US-backed government collapsed last month and the Taliban took control.

Since the departure of US forces and the handover of the airport on Aug.31, 85 US citizens and 79 LPRs have left Afghanistan on sporadic flights, the official said.

However, some American citizens did not want to leave Afghanistan without family members who did not have the required travel documents to enter the United States, the official said.

The United States would soon step up efforts to help immediate family members of American citizens who did not have the necessary documents, the official said, but would not do so for their “extended” families, which could include a large number of persons.

“I fully understand how painful this choice can be for them, but for legal and policy reasons, so far we have not provided support for expedited departure and resettlement to States- United for extended family members of US citizens, ”the official said. noted.

Reporting by Simon Lewis, Humeyra Pamuk and Jonathan Landay; Editing by Bernadette Baum

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