Kamala Harris thanks Bahrain and Kuwait for help in Afghanistan evacuation

US vice president thanked both countries for their roles in enabling evacuation efforts in Kabul

FILE PHOTO: Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) takes the stage at the New Hampshire Democratic Party state convention in Manchester, New Hampshire, U.S. September 7, 2019.      REUTERS/Gretchen Ertl/File Photo

US Vice President Kamala Harris made calls to two Gulf countries on Thursday, offering thanks for their help with evacuation efforts in Afghanistan.

In calls to Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa and Kuwait’s Crown Prince Meshal Al Ahmad Al Jabir Al Sabah, Ms Harris relayed Washington’s appreciation and commitment to the partnership between the US and both countries.

“The vice president thanked the Crown Prince for Bahrain’s vital support to save thousands of lives, including Americans and vulnerable Afghans, as part of US evacuation efforts from Afghanistan,” a White House statement read.

Kuwait allowed the US to transit 5,000 Afghans through the country, while Bahrain, which is home to the US navy's Fourth Fleet, allowed planes carrying evacuees to stop in the kingdom.

In her call with Sheikh Meshal, Ms Harris “expressed her deep gratitude” for Kuwait’s role in the evacuation operations and “reaffirmed the strong bilateral relationship between the two countries and committed to work closely on regional challenges".

Ms Harris has taken an increased role in managing US diplomacy on Afghanistan after returning from her one-week trip to South-East Asia last weekend.

On Tuesday, Ms Harris presided over the Senate as it unanimously passed a bill to boost funding to repatriate Americans returning from Afghanistan.

US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin is expected to travel to the Gulf next week to personally thank countries that assisted in the evacuation process.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, meanwhile, made calls to Germany, Spain and Italy on Thursday to discuss Afghanistan.

He thanked his German counterpart Heiko Maas for “support in facilitating the transit of thousands of people out of Afghanistan through US military installations in Germany”.

US marines wounded in the August 26 attack in Kabul were relocated to an American military hospital in Germany.

Updated: September 2nd 2021, 9:44 PM