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leaving afghanistan

White House: Americans staying in Afghanistan will get help if they change their minds

There are between 100 and 200 Americans still in Afghanistan, and President Biden on Tuesday said there is "no deadline" to get them out, should they decide to leave the country.

The United States is in touch "with a number of these Americans," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during a Tuesday news briefing, and making contact with them "through a range of means." Those who want to exit Afghanistan in the future will have options, she added. "Some of that may be over land, over borders, some of that may be through airplanes," Psaki said. "And so we're working again with the Qataris and the Turks on that. We're working to get the civilian side of the airport operational."

The Americans remaining in Afghanistan are there for multiple reasons — many have lived in the country for years and aren't ready to go, while others have dual citizenship or want to stay with relatives who are not Americans. Biden said the "bottom line" is "90 percent of Americans in Afghanistan who wanted to leave were able to leave," and the U.S. "committed to get them out if they want to come out."

With the Taliban now controlling Afghanistan, Psaki said it's likely the militant group's leaders are worried about who is leaving the country, and what will happen if "they allow some of these people out — the doctors, the lawyers, the people who have been trained by the Americans over the last 20 years, not to mention people in Afghanistan who could cause trouble for the Taliban if they were able to essentially go into exile and oppose the Taliban government."