The Newest: Blinken Says US Collaborates With Taliban On Flights | World information
DOHA, Qatar – U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says the State Department is working with the Taliban to provide additional charter flights from Kabul for people wanting to leave Afghanistan after the American military and diplomatic departure.
Blinken spoke to Qatar’s top diplomats and defense officials at a joint press conference on Tuesday. He said the US had been in contact with the Taliban “in the last few hours” to make arrangements for additional charter flights from the Afghan capital.
Blinken said the Taliban had guaranteed safe passage for anyone intending to leave Afghanistan with proper travel documents. He said the United States would keep that promise to the Taliban.
Blinken said the United States believes there are “somewhere around 100” American citizens in Afghanistan who want to leave. The State Department had previously put this estimate at 100 to 200.
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Blinken and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin are in Qatar to thank the Arab Gulf state for its help in the transit of tens of thousands of people evacuated from Afghanistan after the Taliban took control of Kabul on August 15.
– Blinken and Austin visit Gulf to ease post-war tension
– Taliban say they took Panjshir, the last refusing Afghan province
– Over 24 hours in Kabul, brutality, trauma, moments of grace
– USA: Afghan evacuees who failed the initial examination in Kosovo
– Rescue groups: US record misses hundreds in Afghanistan
– For more AP coverage, please visit https://apnews.com/hub/afghanistan
WHAT ELSE HAPPENS:
ISTANBUL – Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu on Tuesday called for an inclusive government in Afghanistan that includes women and signaled to the Taliban that this was a prerequisite for international recognition.
In an interview with the NTV broadcaster, Cavusoglu did not respond directly to the question of whether Turkey would recognize a Taliban administration. “If unity is desired in the country, a government must be formed that includes everyone,” he said.
“Our wish is that women are also in the mainstream government,” he added. “We will act according to the conditions and developments.”
The minister said Turkey was working with the United States and Qatar to reopen Kabul airport without elaborating on it. 19 Turkish technicians are currently working there.
Technical experts from Qatar and Turkey have started repairs, although it is not yet clear when the airport will be operational. The Taliban said that only domestic flights have resumed and only during the day for the time being.
Cavusoglu said that in order for the airport to resume operations, the Taliban can secure the airport from the outside, “but inside it needs a structure that the international community can trust”.
Turkey has offered to guard the airport, but the Taliban have so far refused.
BOSTON – Over two decades, the United States and its allies have spent hundreds of millions of dollars building databases for the Afghan people. The nobly declared goal: to promote law and order and state accountability and to modernize a country devastated by war.
But when the Taliban took power in a flash, most of these digital devices – including identity verification biometrics – apparently fell into the hands of the Taliban. Built with few data protection precautions, there is a risk that it will become the high-tech boot of a surveillance state. As the Taliban get their government skills, there are concerns that they will be used for social control and punishing supposed enemies.
The constructive use of such data – promoting education, empowering women, fighting corruption – requires democratic stability, and these systems were not designed with the prospect of defeat in mind.
“It’s a terrible irony,” said Frank Pasquale, a researcher at Brooklyn Law School in surveillance technologies. “It’s a real object lesson in ‘The Road to Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions’.”
Since the August 15 fall of Kabul, there has been evidence that government data has been used in the Taliban’s efforts to identify and intimidate Afghans who have collaborated with US forces.
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