Biden, while addressing a press conference in the White House East Room, said the United States is in close contact with the Taliban so that US-aligned Afghan citizens could gain access to the Kabul airport.
“No American citizen who wants to leave the country will be left behind. My administration is also committed to evacuating the Afghans who assisted the United States during its 20-year war in Afghanistan. There are 6,000 troops on the ground for the task,” Biden said.
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The exact number of Afghans who qualify for evacuation is not clear, but it is believed to number in the tens of thousands.
In a Friday statement, the White House said, “We have evacuated approximately 9,000 people since August 14. Since the end of July, we have evacuated approximately 14,000 people.”
It added that in the last 24 hours, the US military facilitated the departure of 11 charter flights, and that those numbers were not included in the other totals.
President Biden also said he has not seen America’s allies question the US credibility over the conduct of its withdrawal from Afghanistan as the Taliban took over the country.
“I have seen no question of credibility from our allies around the world,” Biden said, adding the United States was in “close operational coordination with NATO” on the evacuation operation in Kabul.
Meanwhile, two top human rights organisations called on President Biden Friday, requesting him to extend the August 31 deadline for the US troops to leave Kabul in order to help evacuate Afghans fearing Taliban reprisals. Sarah Holewinski, head of the Washington bureau at Human Rights Watch, told a news conference the most at-risk Afghans would not be able to get out before the deadline unless flights out of Kabul are ramped up.
Shaharzad Akbar, head of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, who is at an undisclosed location, said Afghans feared being abandoned by Washington.