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U.S. Names Veteran Diplomat As New Coordinator For Afghan Relocation

Veteran diplomat A. Elizabeth Jones (file photo)

The U.S. State Department says it has appointed veteran diplomat A. Elizabeth Jones as the new coordinator for efforts for Afghan relocation efforts.

Jones will oversee the relocation process all the way from facilitating departures from Afghanistan to resettlement in the United States, department spokesman Ned price said in a statement on October 12.

Jones is a former assistant secretary of state and ex-deputy special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan who also served as the ambassador to Kazakhstan.

She is replacing John Bass, a former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan who was sent to Kabul airport in August to lead efforts to evacuate American citizens and Afghans as the Taliban toppled the internationally recognized government.

Thousands of Afghans were airlifted out of Afghanistan in the chaotic two-week operation.

"As she takes over these new duties, Ambassador Jones will focus on the very complex issues related to our efforts to facilitate the relocation and resettlement in the United States of Afghan individuals to whom we have a commitment," Price said.

The announcement of Jones’s appointment comes as flights of Afghan evacuees to the United States from Ramstein Air Base in western Germany have resumed following an interruption of several weeks because a few cases of measles had been detected.

About 8,800 people were then vaccinated against that disease, and also received a vaccination for COVID-18.

A Ramstein Air Base spokesperson said more than 2,500 Afghans had departed the facility on nine flights since October 9, and that about 6,000 others were still waiting to leave, according to dpa.

Along with a base in Qatar, Ramstein has been the main hub for onward travel of Afghans flown out by the U.S. military after the Taliban takeover in mid-August.

With reporting by Reuters and dpa
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