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Weld still working on getting Afghan colleagues out of country

WELLSBURG, W.Va. — Two weeks after the United States ended its nearly 20 years in Afghanistan with the withdrawal of the final troops from Kabul, there remains an effort from Americans to help Afghans leave the country as the Taliban rules over.

State Senator Ryan Weld (R-Brooke), who served in Afghanistan from October 2010 to July 2011 as part of the U.S. Air Force Reserve, appeared on Tuesday’s MetroNews ‘Talkline’ to update the status of two of his colleagues in Afghanistan that he has been trying to help.

Ryan Weld

He said a problem is only one bordering country is accepting residents from Afghanistan, Pakistan, but the main border passage is ‘choking up’ due to thousands of people there.

“They are now, and the other thousands of Afghans that worked with us and are stuck there, are at the mercy of this administration negotiating a deal that reopens Kabul International to civilian flights or guarantees a corridor of safe passage to a neighboring country,” Weld said.

Weld described ‘they’ as a government spokesman and a second man who worked with Weld’s unit on messaging for a local radio station, along with both of their families. He said he, like many Americans who served there, built relationships with Afghan citizens.

He said currently there are not many options for them.

“Keeping them safe, keeping them calm. Ensuring that we are trying to find a solution. We believe the American government is working to find a solution. And also not trying to do something rash as in making a bolt for a border,” Weld said.

President Joe Biden’s deadline to complete the military mission in Afghanistan was completed on August 31, which ended with the Taliban ruling over the country. American troops had spent the final weeks transporting soldiers and evacuating Afghan refugees and allies.

Weld said any positive stories about the Taliban are false

“These guys and other accounts are giving us first-hand stories and accounts of violence they are seeing. Increasing intimidation, increasing violence against women, increasing violence of those who dare to stand up to the authority of the regime,” Weld said.

Weld was also critical of the Biden administration. He said he is sure the Biden administration knows there is work to be done but is happy with seeing the story fall from the news headlines. Weld said pressure must be kept on the Biden administration to help ‘thousands of people abandoned.’

“I looked at Politico’s website this morning (Tuesday), there is not a single story of Afghanistan until you scroll to the bottom. The quicker this goes away for this administration and it gets out of the spotlight, the pressure if taken off them, the happier they will be. Especially as they head into elections next year,” he said.

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