Via State Department, August 17:
— We’ve now completed our drawdown to the core diplomatic presence we need, and at this time we will no longer – at this time no longer need to facilitate departures for our embassy personnel.
— All remaining embassy staff will be assisting departures from Afghanistan, and the department is surging resources and Consular Affairs personnel to augment the relocation of American citizens and Afghan special immigrants – special immigrants, and elsewhere adding personnel to assist with P-1/P-2 adjudication processing.
— We’ve successfully relocated many of our locally employed staff and are in direct contact with the remainder to determine who is interested in relocation and the process for doing so.
— Ambassador John Bass – a seasoned career diplomat and former ambassador to Afghanistan, Turkey, and Georgia – is heading to Kabul today to lead logistics coordination and consular efforts. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service, Ambassador Bass brings decades of experience from service at seven U.S. missions overseas and in leadership positions, including executive secretary, here in Washington. Ambassador Wilson, who has remained in Kabul, will continue to lead our diplomatic engagement.
— So this is a massive logistical undertaking. The – our presence, our diplomatic presence in Kabul, this is a focus of theirs. Obviously, there is a lot of other important business that needs to get done from management to engagements with the – with Afghans. And so what Ambassador Bass will be doing is overseeing the logistics of this rather large, rather ambitious, expansive operation. He’ll be using and leveraging his managerial expertise and logistics experience to help Ambassador Wilson and the broader Embassy Kabul management team with this challenge.
— He is going there to work on the nuts and bolts of this, just given how logistically challenging this is.
In July, President Biden nominated Ambassador Bass, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service to be the next Under Secretary of State (Management). If confirmed, he would succeed Pompeo BFF Brian J. Bulatao. The nomination is pending in the SFRC as of this writing.
— Ariana News (@ArianaNews_) December 31, 2019
Spoke to Kuwaiti FM Al-Sabah today. We are grateful to the Government of Kuwait for their gracious help to facilitate the transit of U.S. citizens and @USEmbassyKabul personnel from Afghanistan through Kuwait. We deeply appreciate our enduring partnership.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) August 17, 2021
The U.S. Government has facilitated the departure of all Nepali Gurkhas who worked at the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan. It was an honor for us to welcome the first flight back to Nepal this morning after a stop in the Middle East. We are grateful for their bravery and service. https://t.co/9QLkxMXJeG
— Ambassador Randy Berry (@USAmbNepal) August 17, 2021