Blinken: ‘Around 340’ Americans have been evacuated from Afghanistan since US withdrawal

“From August 31 to today, we have left – of the Americans who left who said they wanted to leave – about 340,” Blinken told CNN’s Dana Bash on “State of the Union.”

“What has happened since then is this: more people have come forward in two ways. There were a small number of Americans in Afghanistan who did not want to leave and who have now seen that we have managed to get some of the few that are left. Americans than now They’ve come forward and said, ‘Yes we want to go,’ and there are a couple hundred who are ready to go and we’ll work to get them out, “Blinken said, adding that some other Americans the department had not previously identified as potential evacuees who have also come forward asking for help to leave the country.

Blinken’s comments come two months later The United States completed its military withdrawal Afghanistan after the takeover of the country by the Taliban. Although the vast majority of Americans in the country were airlifted in a frenzied evacuation effort before the August 31 departure deadline, a few remaining citizens have since left with the help of the State Department.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said earlier this month that the department formed a team to coordinate with government agencies and with outside groups to facilitate the exit of US citizens, US lawful permanent residents and Afghans.

The precariousness of the situation was highlighted earlier this month after most evacuation flights scheduled to leave Afghanistan for a week were abruptly canceled, according to an email from the State Department sent to US citizens in the country that was reviewed by CNN. The email did not say why the flights were canceled and told recipients to “be ready to travel on short notice” given how quickly the situation has evolved.

Blinken, who noted Sunday that many of the remaining Americans in Afghanistan are still there because “their entire lives” are in the country, reiterated that the United States’ commitment to evacuate its citizens will continue for as long as necessary.

“There is no deadline for this effort. We will continue to remove them,” the secretary said.

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