International community calls for ‘safe and orderly departure’ of foreign nationals and Afghans

Taliban fighters drive an Afghan National Army (ANA) vehicle through a street
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More than 60 members of the international community called for the “safe and orderly departure” from Afghanistan of foreign nationals and Afghans on Sunday, hours after the Taliban took control in the country’s capital city of Kabul.

“Given the deteriorating security situation, we support, are working to secure, and call on all parties to respect and facilitate, the safe and orderly departure of foreign nationals and Afghans who wish to leave the country,” members of the international community wrote in a joint statement.

“Those in positions of power and authority across Afghanistan bear responsibility—and accountability—for the protection of human life and property, and for the immediate restoration of security and civil order,” the statement added.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. “joins the international community in affirming that Afghans and international citizens who wish to depart must be allowed to do so. Roads, airports, and border crossing must remain open, and calm must be maintained.”

The Taliban seized control of Kabul overnight on Sunday, marking a pivotal turning point in the insurgent group’s efforts in the region after capturing a number of key provincial capitals last week.

The significant advances by the insurgent group came as the U.S. inched closer to completing its withdrawal mission, which President Biden previously said is set to wrap up by the end of this month.

The U.S. responded to the recent gains by pulling personnel from the embassy in Kabul on Sunday, and deploying 1,000 more troops to help evacuate Americans and Afghans from the region.

The total number of U.S. troops aiding the effort in Afghanistan is now roughly 6,000.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price announced on Sunday that the “safe evacuation” of embassy personnel is complete.

“All Embassy personnel are located on the premises of Hamid Karzai International Airport, whose perimeter is secured by the U.S.” he added.

The countries called for Afghan and international citizens who want to leave the country to “be allowed to do so,” adding that roads, airports and border crossings “must remain open, and calm must be maintained.”

“The Afghan people deserve to live in safety, security and dignity. We in the international community stand ready to assist them,” the group added.

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