US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will host a virtual ministerial meeting with key partners on Afghanistan today, his spokesperson said.
The countries that were listed by the US for the virtual ministerial meeting on Afghanistan include, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, Turkey and Qatar, along with the European Union and the NATO.
“The participants will discuss an aligned approach for the days and weeks ahead,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said. Later in the day, Blinken will speak on American efforts since August 14 and discuss the way forward, he said.
US Embassy staff evacuated from Kabul
Media reports have suggested that the US has evacuated all the local Afghan staffers at the US Embassy in Afghanistan along with their families. An internal State Department Cable sent out last week reportedly said local Afghanistan embassy staffers were “deeply disheartened” by the US evacuation operations. The cable relayed reports of staffers being harassed, being spat on and cursed at by Taliban fighters at checkpoints.
Evacuations so far
Since August 14, the US has evacuated and facilitated the evacuation of approximately 114,400 people. Since the end of July, the US has relocated approximately 120,000 people. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday had said that the US will be engaging with the Taliban to ensure the safe evacuation of people from Afghanistan following the August 31 deadline for withdrawal,
“The President directed the Secretary of State to continue diplomatic efforts with international partners to secure means for third-country nationals and Afghans with visas to leave the country even after the US military presence ends,” Psaki had said during a press briefing.