US races to seek out secure haven for Afghan translators in Central Asia as troop withdrawal nears

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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.

While the immediate focus will be on getting about 9,000 of the 18,000 applicants out of the country — people in the final stages of the visa process — the effort could extend to upwards of 50,000 people, as Afghans who applied for visas will be given the opportunity to bring family members, sources said.

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