The White House said that Taliban behaved ‘professionally’ and was co-operative during the latest evacuation of US citizens from Afghanistan on Thursday.
National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne said that the evacuation of the US citizens on a chartered Qatar Airways flight on Thursday from Kabul to Doha marked a ‘positive first step’.
“The Taliban have been cooperative in facilitating the departure of American citizens and lawful permanent residents on charter flights from HKIA,” Horne said in a statement.
The spokesperson also said that the Taliban have ‘shown flexibility’, and they have been ‘business-like’ and ‘professional’ in their dealings with the US.
The White House’s chief spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, declined to reveal the number of Americans aboard the flight, saying it had just landed and that Washington did not have all the details till then.
Earlier, President Joe Biden’s administration had said that there were about 100 Americans still in Afghanistan and they were wishing to leave the country, after the massive airlift by the US Military concluded in August. The evacuation airlifted more than 1,23,000 people out of Afghanistan in just two weeks.
The White House thanked Qatar for its role and said that the USA ‘facilitated’ Thursday’s departure of Americans from Afghanistan.
“We have been working intensely to ensure the safe departure, and the flight is the result of careful and hard diplomacy and engagement,” Horne said.
Representative Mike Waltz and Senator Lindsey Graham, both fierce Republican critics of the withdrawal, welcomed the flight, and said in a joint statement that “it was inexcusable that the Biden administration allowed a terrorist regime to dictate the terms of allowing Americans to leave on their own with their families.”
Biden’s administration has been criticised for leaving the Americans at the mercy of the Taliban and also for complying with their conditions. However, Horne said that efforts to facilitate such evacuations of Americans and Afghans, who worked with the US mission, would continue.
(With inputs from Agencies)