By Jason Hoffman and Chandelis Duster, CNN
The US, along with about 100 other countries, said they will hold the Taliban to their promises that they will allow people to leave the country after August 31, according to a joint statement released Sunday.
“We are all committed to ensuring that our citizens, nationals and residents, employees, Afghans who have worked with us and those who are at risk can continue to travel freely to destinations outside Afghanistan. We have received assurances from the Taliban that all foreign nationals and any Afghan citizen with travel authorization from our countries will be allowed to proceed in a safe and orderly manner to points of departure and travel outside the country,” the statement said in part.
“We will continue issuing travel documentation to designated Afghans, and we have the clear expectation of and commitment from the Taliban that they can travel to our respective countries. We note the public statements of the Taliban confirming this understanding,” it continued.
US national security adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN earlier Sunday that the Biden administration is committed to a “safe passage” of Americans and Afghans who helped the US government after the US withdrawal deadline from Afghanistan.
“August 31 is not a cliff. After August 31, we believe that we have substantial leverage to hold the Taliban to its commitments to allow safe passage for American citizens, legal permanent residents and the Afghan allies who have travel documentation to come to the United States,” Sullivan told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.” “We will use that leverage to the maximum extent and we will work with the rest of the international community to make sure the Taliban does not falter on these commitments.”
French President Emmanuel Macron has said he intends, alongside the United Kingdom, to submit a resolution to an emergency session of the UN Security Council that would focus on the creation of a “safe zone” in Kabul for Afghans leaving the country.
“Our draft resolution aims to define, under UN protection, a safe zone in Kabul that would allow humanitarian operations to continue,” Macron told French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche, adding that he intends to “maintain pressure on the Taliban” in doing so.
It is not clear if or when the 15-member Security Council will consider the proposed resolution. A meeting between UN Secretary-General António Guterres and the five permanent members of the Security Council is expected to take place Monday evening, UN diplomats told CNN.
This story has been updated with additional information Sunday.
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CNN’s Saskya Vandoorne, Laura Smith-Spark, Oren Liebermann, Richard Roth and Celine Alkhaldi contributed to this report.