The Biden Admin claimed that the State Department was going to get all of the stranded Americans safely home but if you look at what the State Dept said last week they are winging it and their plan was to depend on the Taliban to keep Americans safe…We have all seen how well that worked. State Dept Ambassador Victoria Nuland explained the State Department’s weak plan.
Reporter: “So what are you telling [Americans] now, presuming that you’re still in contact with these people, particularly as reports start to increase about the Taliban doing exactly what they said they wouldn’t do, which is exacting revenge on people? And I’ll let someone else ask about the SIVs, but that’s – what is the message right now to U.S. passport holders and families who are, like, all green card holders who were not able to get out?”
AMBASSADOR NULAND: “Well, Matt, as I said, these efforts did not end on August 31st and they will not end until we have secured the evacuation of any American citizens and LPRs and folks who worked with us and served the American people who want to get out. So we’ve been in contact with them in the last 24 hours to tell them that we are looking at all possible options – air routes, land routes – to continue to find ways for them to help evacuate and to support them in that. We’re trying to ascertain who precisely still wants to leave, who their dependent family members are, what routes may or may not feel comfortable to them. We’re also working intensively, as you know, with countries on the ground who are trying to get the civilian airport open. We’re also looking at land routes, talking to our allies about how that might work and how that has worked. So we’re looking at all possible options, but we’re also conveying to them that their safety and security is of paramount concern to us. And as you have said and as we saw during the military phase of the evacuation, we have profound security concerns. It’s a very volatile situation, and the Taliban have to demonstrate that they can maintain security for the rest of this.”
Reporter: “…I understand you may not be able to share precise plans, but, for example, one of the people that Matt mentioned is somebody that I spoke to in a first story that we put out today, and this is a U.S. passport holder and he has six daughters. None of them are American citizens.
AMBASSADOR NULAND: Yeah.
Reporter: And basically, he was assisted but he was told to come to the airport alone to – and that was the only way for him to get out. So for someone like this, what is the guidance at the moment? Are you giving any guidance about overland routes?
And my second question is a little bit wider, and that’s about Taliban recognition. I just want you to talk a little bit about the U.S. strategy on how to deal with the Taliban because the focus has so far been on the evacuation. Where is the United States with that? We see that Europe is coming to maybe accept the reality that they have to deal with the Taliban a little bit earlier than the United States. If you could just update us on where you are thinking on that. And what – are you talking about that with your allies? Thank you.
AMBASSADOR NULAND: Well, first of all, be interested after this about any information you have about this specific American. As you know, the guidance to Americans throughout has been that we were eager to assist them, their spouses, and their minor children. So I’m not sure about this report that you have, but it doesn’t track with the way we have been dealing with these cases.
As I said, we are working on trying to get that – supporting those partners on the ground who are trying to get that airport open. And we are also looking at land routes. I think on land routes, I don’t want to be any more specific because, as you know, it is a long journey with lots of dangers and we don’t want to further endanger folks who might be involved in that.
Reporter: “And the recognition?”
AMBASSADOR NULAND: “On the question of recognition, we have obviously had contacts with the Taliban. We had it during the effort that we were trying to midwife a negotiation. Those conversations have continued intensively to enable the evacuation of – that we undertook and to try to get the kinds of guarantees of safe passage, et cetera, and tolerance, and to talk about the standards set in the UN Security Council resolution, to talk about the terrorist threat as well because the expectation is that – they claim to be able to control the security of Afghanistan. We’ll see if that is the case. That is a far cry from a formal recognition.
We will continue to have conversations that serve our interest, as will our allies and partners, but the first thing we want to see is them live up to the obligations that they have under the UN Charter as well as the public statements that they themselves have made about their expectation for an Afghanistan that respects human rights, respects international law, allows international citizens and Afghans who wish to leave.”
And now the Taliban has Americans held hostage. Another disaster brought to you by the Biden Admin…