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Afghan refugees welcome here, city and county say

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Leaders of Missouri’s two urban areas have a message for refugees from Afghanistan: You are welcome here.

St. Louis Mayor Tishaura Jones and St. Louis County Executive Sam Page released a joint statement Tuesday saying they were “ready, willing, and prepared” to welcome at least 1,000 Afghanistan citizens through the Special Immigrant Visa program.

“This plan is consistent with our collective goal to build a more welcoming and inclusive St. Louis region, no matter where they come from or any identity they hold,” the statement said.

On Monday, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas wrote on Twitter that his city “would proudly accept refugees from Afghanistan who have served bravely by our side over the past generation.”

Jones, Page and Lucas are all Democrats.

Pentagon officials said Tuesday that the U.S. military was coordinating with the Taliban while accelerating the airlift of Americans and Afghan allies from the Kabul airport. The Taliban swept to power after 20 years of war against the U.S.-supported Kabul government.

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