Maryland, Virginia will welcome Afghanistan refugees, governors say

The governors of Maryland and Virginia on Monday vowed to work with Washington to welcome Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban as the U.S. draws down its presence in the region.

President Joe Biden swore to standby his pledge to withdraw American soldiers from the troubled nation on Monday, even in the face of Taliban forces advancing on the capital of Kabul.

READ MORE: Biden defends pulling US troops from Afghanistan

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan says they expect to receive at least 180 Afghan nationals.

"Many of these Afghan citizens—our allies—bravely risked their lives to provide invaluable support for many years to our efforts as interpreters and support staff, and we have a moral obligation to help them," said the governor, who also reiterated criticism of the U.S. withdrawal, calling it "rushed and irresponsible."

READ MORE: Members of DC’s Afghan community hold out hope for peace as Taliban sweeps through country

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said that he met with "some of the thousands of Afghan citizens and families" who have arrived at Fort Lee.

The governor added, "I'm coordinating with DC and have made it clear: we're ready and willing to take thousands more. Virginia will continue to serve as safe harbor.

Chaos erupted in Afghanistan as the date for U.S. withdrawal approached.

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The U.S. has occupied the country for two decades.

President Biden said he made his decision when confronted with the choice of either withdrawing, or sending "thousands more" back to Afghanistan for a "third decade of war."