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Kamala Harris says the U.S. is ‘singularly targeted’ on evacuating Individuals and Afghan allies

US Vice President Kamala Harris (L) is welcomed by Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (R) on the Istana in Singapore, on August 23, 2021.

Evelyn Hockstein | AFP | Getty Pictures

SINGAPORE — America’ major focus in Afghanistan proper now’s to evacuate Americans, Afghan allies and susceptible teams following the Taliban’s return to energy, Vice President Kamala Harris stated Monday.

Harris spoke to reporters throughout a joint press convention with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong following an earlier assembly the place the 2 leaders mentioned a broad vary of matters — from provide chain points to local weather change and tackling the worldwide well being disaster caused by the pandemic.

“Proper now we’re singularly targeted on evacuating Americans, Afghans who labored with us and Afghans who’re susceptible, together with ladies and kids,” Harris stated, responding to a reporter’s query on U.S. efforts in Afghanistan.

“We’ve a accountability and we really feel a deep dedication to creating positive that people who helped us are protected,” Harris added, saying that there ought to be a “sturdy evaluation of what occurred” later.

Learn extra on the developments in Afghanistan:

The Biden administration is going through mounting criticism over its dealing with of U.S. withdrawal efforts, which have plunged Afghanistan into chaos because the civilian authorities collapsed and the Taliban took energy. Hundreds have flooded to the Kabul airport in hopes of escaping the nation.

On Sunday, President Joe Biden stated the U.S. has a “lengthy technique to go and loads may nonetheless go incorrect” within the evacuation from Kabul.

“The evacuation of 1000’s of individuals from Kabul goes to be arduous and painful regardless of when it began, after we started,” the president stated throughout a press convention on the White Home. He additionally stated that “our hope is that we are going to not have to increase” the Aug. 31 deadline to exit Afghanistan.

U.S. credibility at stake

The developments in Afghanistan have triggered some to query Washington’s dedication to its allies. Analysts have stated that Harris’ journey is an try and reassure allies and companions in Southeast Asia that the Biden administration has not forgotten about them.

Southeast Asia is dwelling to some 660 million individuals and numerous fast-growing economies, together with Vietnam. It’s a strategic area for U.S. pursuits due to the South China Sea — an important business delivery route the place trillions of {dollars} of world commerce go by means of annually. Lately, China has stepped up its financial and political affect within the area.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee advised reporters that the Biden administration inherited an “extraordinarily tough” scenario and that the city-state understands the explanations behind the troop withdrawal.

“The U.S. intervention has stopped terrorist teams from utilizing Afghanistan as a protected base for 20 years,” Lee stated. “For this, Singapore is grateful.”

“We hope Afghanistan doesn’t turn out to be an epicenter for terrorism,” he added. The prime minister defined that what issues in the long run is how the U.S. repositions itself in Asia-Pacific and engages with nations within the area, together with on points just like the combat in opposition to terrorism.

“As a result of that may decide the perceptions of the nations, of the U.S. international priorities and of its strategic intentions,” he stated.

That is breaking information. Please examine again for updates.

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