People stranded in Afghanistan will be provided 'tailored' evacuation routes: State Department

President takes new tone on Afghanistan compared to earlier in career

The State Department on Wednesday sought to reassure those stuck in Afghanistan, saying they it will provide “tailored” evacuation plans to get them out of the Taliban-controlled nation. 

“These efforts did not end on Aug. 31 and they will not end until we have secured the evacuation of any American citizen and LPRs [Legal Permanent Resident] and folks who worked with us and served the American people and want to get out,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price told reporters.

The State Department would not give details on how the U.S. intends to coordinate continued evacuations.

Under Secretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland said the department had been in contact with Americans and LPR’s within the last 24 hours to inform them of the government’s intent to continue with their evacuation. 

But people on the ground in Afghanistan remain concerned for their safety and the timeliness of State Department operations.

The Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul has remained non-operational since the departure of U.S. forces Monday, though Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said the insurgent group will seek to reopen it. 

“Our technical team will be checking the technical and logistical needs of the airport,” he said. “If we are able to fix everything on our own, then we won’t need any help. If there is need for technical or logistics help to repair the destruction, then we might ask help from Qatar or Turkey.”

The State Department said it is examining both air and land routes to continue evacuations. 

“We are exploring all possible options to bring Americans, to bring LPR’s, to bring those to whom we have a special commitment, out of Afghanistan if they so choose to do so,” Price said. “Specific individuals in Afghanistan, to include American citizens and others…will receive specific tailored messages from us as we start to develop and operationalize these plans.

“We will continue to do everything that we can,” Price added. “We’re not talking about this in the past tense because our efforts have not ended. Our efforts will endure.”

Edmund DeMarche contributed to this report. 

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