“The reason that we are taking these steps is because these are courageous individuals. We want to make sure we recognize and value the role they’ve played over the last several years,” Psaki said.
Joe Biden has set a formal end to the US military mission in Afghanistan for 31 August. The general leading the mission, Austin Miller, relinquished command on Monday.
Psaki said she could not provide specifics on the numbers of Afghans who will be in the initial evacuation flights “for operational and security reasons”.
A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the initial evacuation will include about 2,500 people and that they likely will be housed in US military facilities while their visa applications are processed. A final decision has not been made on the specific bases to be used, the official said.
Psaki said the objective is to get “individuals who are eligible relocated out of the country” in advance of the withdrawal of US troops at the end of August.