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A C-17 Globemaster takes off as Taliban fighters secure the outer perimeter, alongside the American controlled side of the Hamid Karzai International Airport on Aug. 29. Photo: Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty

The United States, along with 97 other countries, announced Sunday that they had reached an agreement with the Taliban to allow them to continue to get Afghan allies out of the country after the Aug. 31 withdrawal deadline.

Why it matters: "We are all committed to ensuring that our citizens, nationals and residents, employees, Afghans who have worked with us and those who are at risk can continue to travel freely to destinations outside Afghanistan," the joint statement said.

  • "We have received assurances from the Taliban that all foreign nationals and any Afghan citizen with travel authorization from our countries will be allowed to proceed in a safe and orderly manner to points of departure and travel outside the country," the statement continued.
  • "We will continue issuing travel documentation to designated Afghans, and we have the clear expectation of and commitment from the Taliban that they can travel to our respective countries.  We note the public statements of the Taliban confirming this understanding."
  • Sher Mohammed Abas Stanekzai, the Taliban's chief negotiator, said on Friday that the group would not stop people from departing.

Of note: National security adviser Jake Sullivan said on "Face the Nation" the U.S. has "considerable leverage" to "hold the Taliban to its commitments."

  • "The Taliban have communicated to us ... that they're allowing for safe passage. We’re not just going to take their word for it," he added.

Go deeper

Dec 6, 2021 - Podcasts

The Omicron variant’s impact on air travel

The Omicron COVID variant shattered any expectations that a busy holiday season could bring a rebound to pre-pandemic levels of international travel. 

Host Felix Salmon is joined by Axios What’s Next reporter Joann Muller to discuss travel bans, border closures and new testing requirements that are impacting international air travel.

Dec 6, 2021 - Health

CDC raises travel advisories for France, Portugal to highest level amid COVID surge

Angus Mordant/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention raised COVID-19 travel advisories to their highest levels for a number of countries on Monday, including France and Portugal.

Why it matters: The detection of the new Omicron variant last month has spurred fears of a new wave of virus infections.

Starbucks drops worker vaccine mandate after SCOTUS ruling

Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Starbucks announced in a memo to employees Tuesday that it has dropped plans to implement a vaccine mandate for all U.S. workers, AP reported on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The company's decision comes in response to the Supreme Court's ruling last week to block the Biden administration's COVID-19 vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.