The US government is working to finalize a deal with Qatar to temporarily shelter thousands of Afghan refugees working with the US military. This information was given by the local media. The situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating amid the continuous withdrawal of US forces from the country. The Taliban have captured more than half of the country’s 34 provincial capitals and are now near Kabul.
A CNN report said the number of refugees could go up to 8,000 and if the deal is signed, the first group of Afghan citizens could soon reach Doha.
A State Department spokesman told CNN: “We are evaluating all available options.” We do not have any announcement on third country transfer sites for Afghan (Special Immigrant Visa) SIV applicants.
Meanwhile, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on Thursday that the US will move about 1,000 military personnel to Qatar to expedite the processing of Afghan SIV visa applicants.
Earlier this month, the Biden administration announced an expansion of the refugee program for Afghans working with the US. The State Department said it would expand access to the US refugee program for some Afghans amid fears of retaliation by the Taliban as the US troop withdrawal nears completion.
According to the State Department, the United States expands the opportunity for permanent resettlement to the many thousands of Afghans and their immediate family members, with their lives at risk because of American affiliation.
However, the US government is working to provide some Afghans, including those working with the US, the opportunity for refugee resettlement in the US amid increased attacks of Taliban violence.