US relocates Afghanistan diplomatic presence to Doha, Qatar

In a statement U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, the United States has suspended its diplomatic presence in Afghanistan and will conduct its operations out of Qatar. He went on to add, the United States will continue with its “relentless” efforts to help people leave the country.

US troops have pulled out of Afghanistan.

Blinken’s statement comes at a time when the last U.S. plane took off from Kabul airport, leaving behind thousands of Afghans who helped it along with its Western allies to fight the militants. These Afghans might have qualified for evacuation.

The disorganized US Departure came to an end before the deadline set by US President Joe Biden, who has drawn bi-partisan criticism for his handling of US evacuation from Afghanistan.

Blinken also mentioned, Washington would conduct its Afghanistan diplomacy including consular work and administering humanitarian assistance out of Doha, with a team headed by Ian McCary, the deputy chief of the U.S. mission to Afghanistan.

“A new chapter of America’s engagement with Afghanistan has begun. It’s one in which we will lead with our diplomacy,” said Blinken. “We will continue our relentless efforts to help Americans, foreign nationals and Afghans, leave Afghanistan, if they choose.”

He also mentioned, a little more than 100 Americans continues to remain in Afghanistan and that Washington is in the process of trying to determine their exact number.

More than 6,000 Americans have been evacuated from Afghanistan.

Since August 14, more than 122,000 people flew out of Kabul a day before the Taliban gained control of the country.

The Pakistan-backed militant group, which harbored al Qaeda militants blamed for the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington are now in full control of Afghanistan.

With the fate of Kabul airport, Afghanistan’s main gateway to the rest of the world, remaining uncertain, Blinken said Washington was working to find ways to help Americans and others who may choose to depart via overland routes.

“We have no illusion that any of this will be easy or rapid,” said Blinken.

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