Jones has come out of retirement to take on the role of Coordinator of Resettlement Efforts in Afghanistan (CARE) and officially started last week, the official said. She replaces Ambassador John Bass who had held the post for a few months but is stepping down to focus on his appointment to another post at the State Department.
Jones “will focus on the very complex issues related to our efforts to facilitate the resettlement and resettlement in the United States of Afghan individuals, to whom we have a special commitment,” the official said. “Going forward, it will be necessary to ensure that we have a full complement of individuals here who are solely and exclusively focused on the various elements aimed at facilitating the departure and resettlement of individuals here in the United States.”
The State Department plans to keep its CARE team in place “indefinitely,” the official said.
The team is made up of diplomats organized into groups focused on four main areas: the resettlement of people out of Afghanistan, the treatment of those people in third countries, the resettlement of Afghans in the United States, and outreach and advocacy. engagement with groups of volunteers and veterans, they added. Many of those diplomats were serving on the ground in Kabul before the United States closed its embassy and evacuated all its personnel from Afghanistan, the official said.
Jones is responsible for coordinating with interagency partners – particularly within the Department of Homeland Security and the White House team – and she will lead outreach efforts with Congress and outside partners, according to the official.
She is not expected to engage directly with the Taliban, the official said, noting that the US team in Doha and the team of the Special Representative for Reconciliation in Afghanistan will handle most of these interactions. A US delegation met with representatives of the Taliban in Doha over the weekend.
Jones, a retired career diplomat who served as Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan and Deputy Secretary of State for Near Eastern, European and Eurasian Affairs, will be based in Washington, DC.
The appointment comes as the agency continues to work to secure thousands of vulnerable Afghans, as well as U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, who were left behind in the chaotic and hasty military evacuation of Afghanistan at the end of August.
The State Department official said “thousands” have been evacuated since the US military withdrawal at the end of August, and the number of US citizens remaining in Afghanistan who wish to remain around 100. They said more Americans are moving away. are demonstrating in an attempt to leave the country as evacuations have continued.