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US panel postpones meeting to hold Blinken in contempt over Afghanistan
US panel postpones meeting to hold Blinken in contempt over Afghanistan
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US panel postpones meeting to hold Blinken in contempt over Afghanistan
by DZRH News08 March 2024
FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing to examine the United States' withdrawal from Afghanistan on Capitol Hill, in Washington, U.S., September 14, 2021. Jabin Botsford/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Secretary of State Antony Blinken has agreed to provide a congressional committee with documents it sought about the 2021 U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, according to the panel chairman who had threatened to hold Blinken in contempt.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday postponed a meeting where it had been due to consider holding Blinken in contempt of Congress for not providing the documents, said the panel's Republican chairman, Representative Michael McCaul.

McCaul said he spoke with Blinken Wednesday night and received assurances the material would be provided.

"These documents will provide crucial information for our investigation," McCaul said in a statement.

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McCaul said last week the panel would meet on March 7 to consider a resolution recommending that Blinken be held in contempt "for his continued refusal to comply with a subpoena served by the committee in July."

A State Department spokesperson responded that it was in touch with the House committee and trying to resolve the issue.

The committee has been seeking more information from the State Department for months over the withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021. Republicans - and some Democrats - say there has never been a full accounting of the chaotic operation, in which 13 U.S. service members were killed at Kabul's airport.

The State Department says it has turned over thousands of pages of documents to the committee and made witnesses available for transcribed interviews.

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(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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