July 02, 2021

US races to find safe haven for Afghan translators in Central Asia as troop withdrawal nears

Featuring Lisa Curtis

Source: CNN

Journalists Nicole Gaouette, Kylie Atwood, Jennifer Hansler

With the US withdrawal from Afghanistan just days away, the Biden administration is asking countries in Central Asia to temporarily house thousands of Afghan interpreters and translators while they wait for visas to the United States, according to a US official and another source familiar with the discussions.

The US is in discussions with Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to take in some of the Afghans who worked alongside US troops and diplomats during the 20-year-long conflict and who may be at risk from the Taliban as the security situation in Afghanistan rapidly deteriorates, the sources said.One administration goal is to spread the Afghans out across a number of countries so that no one nation has to take all 18,000 who are currently in the long process of getting a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV), according to a source familiar with ongoing discussions.

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Authors

  • Lisa Curtis

    Senior Fellow and Director, Indo-Pacific Security Program

    Lisa Curtis is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Indo-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS). She is a foreign policy and national securit...