The White House said Wednesday that it would send a delegation to meet with officials in Uzbekistan as the tiny Asian nation braces for a flood of refugees from Afghanistan.
Emily Horne, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, said officials from the two countries will meet to “bolster regional economic development, enhance stability and strengthen American partnerships.”
The delegation will include Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, assistant to the president for homeland security, and Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation.
Uzbek leaders anticipate a flow of refugees from bordering Afghanistan as the United States withdraws troops from the war-torn area.
The Biden administration has asked Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to take in about 9,000 Afghans who assisted the U.S. military’s invasion and occupation of their country, according to a report this month by Bloomberg.
The administration also has pledged to expedite immigration visas for Afghans who worked with the U.S. to oust the Taliban government after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Bloomberg reported.