2 US Congressmen Face Criticism For Kabul Airport Visit Amid Evacuations.

2 US Congressmen Face Criticism For Kabul Airport Visit Amid Evacuations

Their Kabul visit comes after Joe Biden said he expects US evacuation to be completed by August 31 (File)

Washington:

Two US congressmen made an unannounced trip to Kabul on Tuesday to "provide oversight" to the mission to evacuate Americans and its allies and to pressure President Joe Biden to extend the August 31 deadline for US military drawdown.

Democrat Seth Moulton and Republican Peter Meijer said in a joint statement that the trip had been conducted in secret "to minimize the risk and disruption to the people on the ground."

"We conducted this visit in secret, speaking about it only after our departure, to minimize the risk and disruption to the people on the ground, and because we were there to gather information, not to grandstand," the joint statement said.

"As members of Congress, we have a duty to provide oversight on the executive branch," said the pair of military veterans who both had served in the Middle East.

This comes as the US President on Tuesday said that he expects the evacuation mission to be completed by the end of the month.

The US Congressmen said they had travelled to Afghanistan "on a plane with empty seats", seated in crew-only seats to avoid any inconvenience to others. According to CNN, a US official characterized the visit as an "unhelpful distraction."

Slamming the two Congressmen, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said travel to the region by members of the House of Representatives would divert resources from the evacuation operation.

"Given the urgency of this situation, the desire of some Members to travel to Afghanistan and the surrounding areas is understandable and reflective of the high priority that we place on the lives of those on the ground," Pelosi said. "However, I write to reiterate that the Departments of Defense and State have requested that Members not travel to Afghanistan and the region during this time of danger."

Taking to Twitter, Moulton informed that he along with Meijer visited the Kabul airport on Wednesday.

"Today with @RepMeijer I visited Kabul airport to conduct oversight on the evacuation. Witnessing our young Marines and soldiers at the gates, navigating a confluence of humanity as raw and visceral as the world has ever seen, was indescribable," Moulton tweeted.

Since August 14, the US has evacuated and facilitated the evacuation of approximately 82,300 people on US military and coalition flights, according to a White House Official.

Since the end of July, the US have re-located approximately 87,900 people on US military and coalition flights.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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