The Biden administration is committed to a “safe passage” of Americans and Afghans who helped the US government after the withdrawal deadline from Afghanistan, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Sunday.
“August 31st is not a cliff. After August 31st, we believe that we have substantial leverage to hold the Taliban to its commitments to allow safe passage for American citizens, legal permanent residents and the Afghan allies who have travel documentation to come to the United States,” Sullivan told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.” “We will use that leverage to the maximum extent and we will work with the rest of the international community to make sure the Taliban does not falter on these commitments.”
Sullivan’s comments come as the US drawdown of troops from the country continues ahead of Tuesday’s deadline and as evacuations continue at a slower pace. Evacuation efforts are also hampered by possible threats from ISIS-K after a terrorist attack killed 13 US service members and at least 170 others outside the airport on Thursday.
On Sunday, the White House announced that about 2,900 people had been evacuated from Kabul from 3 a.m. ET Saturday to 3 a.m. ET Sunday. Those evacuations were carried out by 32 US military flights that carried approximately 2,200 evacuees and nine coalition flights that carried 700 people.
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