Taliban to allow Afghans with legal papers to travel beyond Aug. 31, German diplomat says
A German diplomat on Wednesday said the Taliban have pledged that Afghans with legal documents will be allowed to travel on commercial flights after U.S.-led evacuations are set to end on Tuesday.
Markus Potzel, Germany’s envoy on Afghanistan, tweeted, “Director [Sher Abbas] Stanekzai assured me that Afghans with legal documents will continue to have the opportunity to travel on commercial flights after 31 August,” referring to the head of the Taliban’s political office in Doha, Qatar.
Director Stanekzai assured me that Afghans with legal documents will continue to have the opportunity to travel on commercial flights after 31 August.
— Potzel Markus (@PotzelMarkus) August 25, 2021
As Reuters reported, Potzel is currently in Doha negotiating with the Taliban.
He also tweeted that Germany has pledged to increase humanitarian aid to the Afghan people by 100 million euros as groups such as the World Health Organization and UNICEF have said they will no longer be able to provide humanitarian assistance since the Taliban took power.
Western countries such as Germany, the U.S. and the U.K. have been working to evacuate foreign nationals and Afghan allies out of Afghanistan since the government fell to the Taliban earlier this month.
Leaders around the world have been calling for the Aug. 31 evacuation deadline to be extended.
However, the Taliban have stated that they have no interest in doing so.
In the U.S., President Biden has maintained that he believes the U.S. can complete its evacuations by the deadline, though multiple lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have expressed doubt and pressed him to continue operations past that date.
On Wednesday, the Pentagon said that the U.S. had evacuated 19,000 people in the past 24 hours, bringing its total to 82,300 evacuees.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday said about 1,500 Americans remain in Afghanistan and are waiting to be evacuated.
It was reported this week that Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is using his parole authority to allow some Afghan evacuees to enter the U.S. without formal visas while they wait for their applications to be processed.
“The Secretary of Homeland Security is using his parole authority, including his ability to impose particular conditions of parole on those arriving, to ensure that those who are reaching here are doing so obviously with the appropriate legal status,” a U.S. official said of the matter.