Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday denied claims that the Taliban are holding American citizens hostage in Afghanistan by refusing to allow flights to leave the country.
“We are not aware of anyone being held on an aircraft or any hostage life situation in Mazar-i-Sharif,” Blinken said during a press conference in Doha, Qatar, where he arrived Monday.
He and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin are in Qatar to meet with their counterparts and thank them for allowing the US to use the Gulf state as a hub for evacuating American citizens and Afghan allies.
Blinken acknowledged that some Americans were still awaiting evacuation in Afghanistan and said the Taliban has assured the Biden administration that US citizens and Afghans with the proper paperwork will be able to leave.
“We’ve been able to identify a relatively small number of Americans who we believe are seeking to depart from Mazar-i-Sharif with their families. We have been assured, again, that all