U.S. says looking at all possible routes for Afghan evacuations

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is looking at all possible options and routes to continue helping Americans and legal permanent residents leave Afghanistan, U.S. Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland told a news briefing on Wednesday.

Nuland also said the United States would continue to have conversations with the Taliban that serve U.S. interests as well as those of U.S. allies.

"We're not going to take them at their word, we're going to take them at their deeds," Nuland said of the Islamist militant group that seized power in Afghanistan last month.

"So they've got a lot to prove based on their own track record … now they also have a lot to gain, if they can run Afghanistan, far, far differently than they did the last time they were in power."

Nuland repeated U.S. estimates that there were between 100 and 200 Americans still in Afghanistan and that U.S. evacuation efforts would not end until the United States had secured the evacuation of any American citizens and legal permanent residents, and those who worked with the United States who wanted to get out.

"So, we've been in contact with them, in the last 24 hours, to tell them that we are looking at all possible options, air routes, land routes to continue to find ways for them to help evacuate and to support them in that," Nuland said.

"And to support them in that, we're trying to ascertain who precisely still wants to leave, who their dependent family members are, what routes may or may not feel comfortable to them."

State Department spokesman Ned Price told the briefing the department did not have an estimate of the number of U.S. green card holders in Afghanistan who wanted to leave.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, Daphne Psaledakis, Simon Lewis and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Leslie Adler and Peter Cooney)

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