‘As long as it takes’: U.S. says no deadline for helping people leave Afghanistan

By Simon Lewis, Humeyra Pamuk and Daphne Psaladekis Reuters

Afghanistan crisis: U.S. to prioritize troop evacuation in last few days of Kabul operation

The United States has evacuated at least 4,500 U.S. citizens and their families from Afghanistan since mid-August, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday, adding that Washington was “aggressively” reaching out to around 1,000 remaining contacts.

Blinken told a news conference there was no deadline on the effort to help people who want to leave Afghanistan, both Americans and others, and that that effort would continue “as long as it takes.”

When the U.S. evacuation effort began, there were as many as 6,000 American citizens in Afghanistan who wanted to leave, based on a U.S. analysis, Blinken said. The remaining contacts now number around 1,000.

“For the remaining roughly 1,000 contacts that we had, who may be Americans seeking to leave Afghanistan, we’re aggressively reaching out to them multiple times a day, through multiple channels of communication,” Blinken said.

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