Middle East/North Africa

Afghan journalists who worked for The New York Times taken in by Mexico

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Afghan journalists who worked for The New York Times landed in Mexico City this week after fleeing their native country due to the Taliban takeover, the newspaper reported.

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard told the Times in an interview that he received a WhatsApp message from former New York Times Kabul and Mexico bureau chief Azam Ahmed on Aug. 12 asking if Mexico’s government could take in Afghan refugees. 

Ebrard then said he called President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who agreed to help evacuate Afghan civilians. Ebrard told Ahmed that Mexico would provide a charter flight out of the country, according to the Times. 

“We looked at this request not as foreign policy between Mexico and the U.S.,” Ebrard said. “Instead, it’s a common position between someone who was a New York Times reporter in Kabul several years ago and myself, who was in the position to make some decisions.”

Times publisher A. G. Sulzberger said in an email that the newspaper is very grateful for the help from Ebrard and his government, urging the international community to follow suit, the Times reported. 

“Their assistance has been invaluable in getting our Afghan colleagues and their families out of harm’s way. We urge the whole international community to follow this example and continue working on behalf of the many brave Afghan journalists who are still at risk,” Sulzberger said. 

Mexico also offered to help other news organizations, including The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal, get their journalists out of Afghanistan. The Wall Street Journal’s editor-in-chief, Matt Murray, said the newspaper planned to send its team to Mexico as well, the Times reported. 

President Biden announced that all U.S troops will still leave the country by Aug. 31.

Tags Afganistan Andrés Manuel López Obrador Joe Biden Kabul New York Times

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