September 22, 2021

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Departure of Qatar Airways Charter Flight from Kabul

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Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

We have consistently said we would continue to help U.S. citizens and others to whom we have a special commitment depart Afghanistan if they choose to do so. Today offers another concrete demonstration of that commitment.

We can confirm that a Qatar Airways charter flight departed from Kabul, this morning. with U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs) on-board.  This was the result of the Department’s regular and close engagement with our regional partners, particularly with Qatari authorities, who facilitated today’s flight.  I emphasized this with Foreign Minister Al-Thani during my travel to Doha this week, and I am grateful for his and his team’s dedicated and effective engagement.

We also have been in regular – typically daily – contact with Americans remaining in Afghanistan. We have provided them, including those aboard this flight, with specific guidance and instructions. Our message to those who remain in Afghanistan is simple: if you wish to depart Afghanistan, we will help you do so.

Finally, we welcome the Taliban’s actions in facilitating this flight as part of their commitment to allow those with travel documents who wish to leave to do so. Our team in Doha as well as Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad have been in regular contact with Taliban officials in recent days, and we have stressed that additional steps such as these will be similarly positively viewed by the international community.

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