Blinken highlights US ‘determination’ to stand by people in Afghanistan
Berlin, Sep 8 (EFE).- The United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken said his country was determined to stand by people in Afghanistan ahead of a meeting with his German counterpart Heiko Maas on Wednesday.
Germany and the US are leading efforts to arrange a joint strategy to continue evacuations from the country.
The US and Germany sent the largest number of soldiers to Afghanistan for the evacuation operation at the beginning of the month.
“The mission continues,” Blinken said in a statement. “It continues in our own determination to continue to stand by people in Afghanistan who need our support, need the support of the international community. We’re working on that every single day.”
Maas said that the international community’s aim is to seek a “joint approach with the Taliban”: “The guarantee of fundamental human rights, the maintenance of possibilities to leave the country and humanitarian access, as well as the fight against terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda and the Islamic State,” he said.
Blinken and Maas are scheduled to hold a videoconference on Wednesday afternoon with foreign ministers from 20 countries to establish a common strategy regarding the Taliban, who now claim to control the entire country after the departure of international troops and the defeat of opposing militias.
The Ramstein military base, home to the US Air Force headquarters for Europe and Africa and NATO’s allied air command (AIRCOM), is one of the main points through which Washington is organizing the evacuation operation.
According to the German Interior Ministry, 34,103 people had arrived in Ramstein from Afghanistan as of Monday. Of these, 20,943 have already flown to the US and other countries, and 90 have applied for asylum in Germany.
The remaining more than 13,000 evacuees must still await a review of their papers and a decision on their fate.
According to the German Foreign Office, Washington and Berlin have agreed that those evacuated from Afghanistan via Ramstein must remain on German soil for a maximum of ten days.