White House hails 'businesslike' and 'professional' Taliban for aid in flight out of Afghanistan

The White House released a statement Thursday praising the “businesslike” and “professional” Taliban for its cooperation with the departure of U.S. citizens and lawful residents via a charter flight.

President Joe Biden’s administration has repeatedly assured the public that evacuations from Afghanistan would continue after last month’s withdrawal and that the United States would have sufficient leverage to ensure Taliban cooperation even without officials there.

“The Taliban have been cooperative in facilitating the departure of American citizens and lawful permanent residents on charter flights from [Hamid Karzai International Airport],” National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne said. “They have shown flexibility, and they have been businesslike and professional in our dealings with them in this effort. This is a positive first step.”


Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday that the Taliban “are not permitting” charter flights out of a city in Afghanistan and acknowledged “complications” in getting Americans and allies out of the country.

The Biden administration has touted “historic” evacuations by the Aug. 31 deadline and vowed to continue to help people who want to come home afterward. But more than 100 Americans are believed to have been left behind. The State Department has said a majority of the Afghan allies were not able to get out either.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki cited Thursday's flight as "evidence" of successfully working with the Taliban. One GOP lawmaker told the Washington Examiner that it was a victory for the Taliban’s “propaganda machine.”

The White House has tried to walk a careful line of working with the Taliban after its takeover of Afghanistan while avoiding an embrace of the Islamist militant group, which had been overthrown in the initial U.S. invasion in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks nearly 20 years ago.

“We will continue these efforts to facilitate the safe and orderly travel of American citizens, lawful permanent residents, and Afghans who worked for us and wish to leave Afghanistan,” Horne said in the statement. “Because there is an ongoing terrorist threat to operations of this nature, we will not be sharing details of these efforts before people are safely out of the country.”


Horne also defended the Biden administration’s record on evacuations.

“We have brought more than 6,000 American citizens and lawful permanent residents home to the United States under Operation Allies Welcome thus far,” she said. “As President Biden has said, if you are an American citizen who wants to leave Afghanistan, there is no deadline. We remain committed to get them out if they want to come out.”

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Tags: News, White House, Joe Biden, Afghanistan, War in Afghanistan, Taliban, National Security, Antony Blinken, Jen Psaki

Original Author: W. James Antle III

Original Location: White House hails 'businesslike' and 'professional' Taliban for aid in flight out of Afghanistan