“As of Aug. 31, as of today, we’ve stepped out – from the departed Americans who said they wanted to leave – about 340,” Blinken told CNN’s Dana Bash for “State of the Union.”
“Since then, this has happened: more people have responded in two ways. There were a slightly smaller number of Americans in Afghanistan who did not want to leave, who now see that we have managed to win over some of the few remaining Americans who have now they’ve advertised and said, ‘We want to leave,’ and there are a few hundred of those willing to leave, and we’re going to work to get them out, ”Blinken said, adding that some other Americans the department hadn’t previously identified, that potential evacuees were also asked for help to leave the country.
State Department spokesman Ned Price said earlier this month that the ministry had formed a coordination team between government agencies and outside groups to facilitate the departure of U.S. citizens, legal U.S. permanent residents and Afghans.
Blinken, who noted on Sunday that many remaining Americans in Afghanistan are still there because their “whole lives” are in the country, reiterated that the U.S. commitment to evacuating citizens will continue as long as necessary.
“There is no deadline for these efforts. We will continue to get them out,” the secretary said.