Only the United States can carry out such a successful operation in such a remote part of the world. We have evacuated about 8,000 people so far. The United States stands behind his words. We will also assist women leaders and journalists. We don’t know how many Americans are in the country right now. We are working to achieve a healthy number. Among the Americans who were evacuated just yesterday, there were also civilians who we brought to the airport with military means.
“THE OPERATIONS WILL CONTINUE UNTIL THEY COMPLETE THE WITHDRAWAL”
We are cooperating closely with NATO on this issue. These operations will continue over the next few days, until we have completed the withdrawal. We will bring home all Americans who want to come home. This evacuation operation is a dangerous operation, there are risks. We are continuing this operation under difficult conditions. There is also the risk of death. We are in constant communication with the Taliban. We make sure they provide a safe passage for civilians. We have said very clearly to the Taliban: if there is an attack on our soldiers or an intervention in our operations, they will see a very quick and strong response.
G-7 EMERGENCY MEETING DECISION
We will work with all those who want to bring stability to this region. I have spoken to Boris Johnson, Chancellor Merkel, Emmanuel Macron in recent days. We all agreed that the G-7 should regroup immediately next week. We will determine a common approach on Afghanistan. We also discussed how we can work with the international community. We also talked about how we can build international pressure on the Taliban. Last week we witnessed the images that hurt us. It’s normal that they are afraid here, they are sad, they have no idea of the future. It is a very difficult and dangerous operation carried out by our soldiers. They are trying to save other Americans, our Afghan allies, our mutual allies.
“WE ARE DOING EVERYTHING TO SAVE OUR CITIZENS AND OUR ALLIES”
We will have a lot of time after this operation to criticize. But at the moment my only goal is to get this job done. We will do everything to save the American citizens and our Afghan allies, we are focused on that. When this work is completed, our 20-year military presence in Afghanistan will be over. No one questioned our credibility. I have never heard of such a thing from our NATO allies. In fact, I hear the opposite from everyone. Everyone thinks that we act very quickly and that we keep our word. We went to Afghanistan to get rid of Al Qaeda and capture Bin Laden, and we were successful. It is time to end this war. Over the past 20 years, it has cost us over $ 1 trillion. The threat of terrorism has now changed. ISIS is a bigger threat right now. There are threats from Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations, also in countries outside of Afghanistan.
“Such a collapse was not likely to happen”
We will also work with Minister Blinken and our allies so that we can exert international pressure on the Taliban. There is an effort here to gain legitimacy. We will impose very harsh preconditions. How they treat women and citizens will be decisive. Such a collapse was unlikely to occur in 11 days. There is the rise of terrorist organizations in the Middle East, Africa and other regions. We are also fighting terrorist organizations in other parts of the world. We get all kinds of notes and advice. This group did not say “it’s in 11 days”. I made a decision. I said I stick to consensus. The consensus was this: It was said that this event would occur towards the end of the year. We have an agreement with the Taliban. For now, they allow US citizens to enter the airport.
“WE CAN CARRY OUT ANY OPERATION FOR OUR CITIZENS”
All options are on the table right now. We can do any type of operation across the country to bring Americans to the airport. We are in constant communication with the leadership of the Taliban. We coordinate our work with them. This way, we were able to get our employees out of the embassy. People say, “Why did we break up when the Americans weren’t attacked?” As we said before, the reason there was no attack was because there was an agreement. “If no one attacks us, we’ll come out on May 1,” Trump said. In addition, the Taliban took over rural areas across the country. If I had said “We are not leaving, we are staying” on May 2-3, then wouldn’t there be more American soldiers leaving? What would they die for? It is impossible to withdraw completely from Afghanistan and not experience what you are seeing now.