Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said the United States is unlikely to have a diplomat in Afghanistan after the U.S. military departs on Tuesday, ending its 20-year mission as one of the world’s largest U.S. embassies. bottom.
Officials said US missions to Afghanistan are expected to open diplomatic missions in countries elsewhere in the region. Given the large Afghan diasporas of both countries, officials said the effort could be based on Pakistan or the United Arab Emirates. American diplomats have also been in peace talks with the Taliban in Qatar for years. Qatar has a large US military base currently used as a transit station for tens of thousands of evacuated Afghans.
Blinken told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday after saying last week that the Biden administration was considering future options for the Kabul embassy. , It’s unlikely. “
“But what happens is that our commitment to continue to support those who want to leave Afghanistan and don’t go out by September 1 continues,” Blinken said. “There is no deadline for that effort, and we have a way. If they choose to leave, there are mechanisms that will help facilitate the continued departure of people from Afghanistan.”
The Taliban wanted the US and other foreign diplomats to stay in Kabul to justify the Taliban as Afghan ruler.
Ending America’s diplomatic presence in the country will hurt US diplomatic forces. Hundreds of American diplomats served in Afghanistan after the Marines regained the embassy during a US-led invasion in December 2001. It has been closed since 1989, when Soviet troops withdrew from Afghanistan after a decade of war.
At the same time as the increase in the armed forces that began in 2010, the personnel level of the diplomatic mission soared during the so-called surge in civilians. The Kabul embassy later expanded, spending hundreds of millions of dollars on additional office space, employee apartments and fortified gates. It then blows up more than 15 acres of walls, about the size of Liberty Island in New York Harbor.
Just weeks before the embassy closed on August 15, when the Taliban occupied the capital, it had approximately 4,000 employees, of whom approximately 1,400 were US diplomats, contractors, and other US agencies. Was an employee of.
By the time an unimportant employee popped out months ago and the American flag went down two weeks ago, only a small core of diplomats had been evacuated to the safe grounds of the international airport and protected by the military. Now that the troops have left as part of an agreement with the Taliban, the State Department has little choice but to withdraw diplomats.