America ‘laser focused’ on evacuation from Afghanistan: Kamala Harris
Singapore, Aug 24: America is "laser focused" on evacuating its citizens, international partners and those who have helped it out of Afghanistan, US Vice President Kamala Harris said here on Tuesday.
Harris, in her speech on US policy and partnerships as part of her three-day visit to Singapore, said she was aware that the eyes of the world are on Afghanistan.
"We are laser focused on the task at hand, and we are extremely grateful to our men and women in uniform and embassy staff who are on the ground, as we speak, making this historic airlift happen in an incredibly difficult and dangerous environment," she said.
"We were at war in Afghanistan for 20 long years. Many members of our military gave their lives in Afghanistan, as did many from our allies and partners.
"Months ago, President Joe Biden made the courageous and right decision to end this war, because we had achieved what we went there to do," said Harris, who is in Singapore as part of her Southeast Asia visit aimed at bolstering America''s engagement in the region.
She also thanked the American servicemen as well as international partners involved in the ongoing evacuation operation which comes as the Taliban regained control of much of the country.
"The United States has been focused on safely evacuating American citizens, international partners, Afghans who worked side by side with us, and other Afghans at risk," she said.
The Vice President speech was hosted by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy (LKYSPP) at the National University of Singapore (NUS), as well as the US Embassy in Singapore.
The speech will be followed by a roundtable with the business community involving Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong.
Harris leaves for Vietnam later on Tuesday.
The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan on August 15, two weeks before the US was set to complete its troop withdrawal after a costly two-decade war. This forced Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to flee the country to the UAE.
The insurgents stormed across the country, capturing all major cities in a matter of days, as Afghan security forces trained and equipped by the US and its allies melted away.
Thousands of Afghan nationals and foreigners are fleeing the country to escape the new Taliban regime and to seek asylum in different nations, including the US and many European nations, resulting in total chaos at Kabul airport and deaths.