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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki answers questions about the US evacuation operations in Afghanistan during a press briefing at the White House in Washington August 24, 2021. ― Reuters pic
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki answers questions about the US evacuation operations in Afghanistan during a press briefing at the White House in Washington August 24, 2021. ― Reuters pic

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WASHINGTON, Aug 24 ― The Biden administration expects that some Afghans who qualify for special visas will not be barred from going to Kabul airport to evacuate in coming days, even as the Taliban asks the United States to stop helping them leave, press secretary Jen Psaki said yesterday.

A Taliban spokesman said yesterday that the group wants the United States to stop encouraging Afghans to leave and foreign countries to stop taking Afghan experts out of Afghanistan.

“We are asking Americans to change your policy and please don’t encourage Afghans to leave. … Do not take them out to foreign countries,” the spokesman said, according to a BBC translation.

The White House said the Biden administration expects Afghans who qualify for US visas will still be allowed to leave the country.

“The individuals we have prioritized … who are eligible for special immigrant visas … our expectation is that they will be able to reach he airport,” Psaki said.

The United States is evacuating thousands of people from Afghanistan, including Afghan citizens who helped the U.S. government there. ― Reuters

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