Update on Afghanistan> US Department of Defense> Release

The following is the text of a joint statement issued by the Department of State and the Department of Defense on Afghanistan:

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We are currently completing a series of steps to secure Hamid Karzai International Airport to enable the safe departure of US and Allied personnel from Afghanistan via civilian and military flights. Over the next 48 hours, we will have expanded our security presence to nearly 6,000 soldiers, with a mission that focuses solely on facilitating these efforts and will take over air traffic control. Tomorrow and in the coming days, we will transfer thousands of US citizens who have resided in Afghanistan, as well as local staff from the US Mission in Kabul and their families and other particularly vulnerable Afghan citizens, out of the country. And we want to speed up the evacuation of thousands of Afghans eligible for US Special Immigrant Visas, nearly 2,000 of whom have already arrived in the United States over the past two weeks. For all categories, Afghans who have approved security screening will continue to be transferred directly to the United States. And we will find additional places for those yet to be screened.

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