Washington – US Secretary of State Anthony Brinken is on a visit to Qatar. He will also travel to Germany to hold talks with important US allies on the situation in Afghanistan.
“Go to Doha, Qatar and Ramstein, Germany, where I will have the opportunity to personally thank our Qatar and German friends for their outstanding support for the safe transit of American citizens, Afghans and others evacuated from Afghanistan,” Brinken tweeted on Sunday evening.
Qatar is a key hub for US airlifts from Kabul and the first landing site for thousands of Afghan refugees after the Taliban took over last month.
US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin is also visiting US allies in the Middle East to thank them for helping with the withdrawal from Afghanistan and working with the US military. His stops include Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.
“I am on my way to the Gulf to personally thank our partners there for supporting the Afghan evacuation. It is impossible for our friends in the Gulf to conduct a joint shelter operation. Their support saved lives,” Austin wrote on Twitter on Sunday .
Brinken told reporters on Friday that during his stay in Germany, he will go to the Ramstein Air Force Base to thank the US military and meet with Afghan refugees.
Brinken also stated that he will host a virtual ministerial meeting of 20 countries with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Wednesday. He said that these 20 countries “are all closely related to helping resettle and resettlement of Afghans and allowing the Taliban to fulfill their promises.”
The Taliban have promised to provide safe passage for Afghans and others who want to leave the country, but many Afghans doubt the reliability of their promises.
In his speech on Friday, Brinken once again defended the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, saying that the number of American citizens remaining in Afghanistan is relatively small, and the State Department is maintaining active contact with everyone.
He said that the United States remains committed to helping any American who wants to leave, and helping special immigrant visa candidates and other Afghans who have helped the United States.
After the Taliban took control of Kabul on August 15, the Biden administration was criticized by Republican lawmakers, human rights organizations, and others for its handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan.