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Evacuation efforts from Kabul continue

CM 17/08/2021

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Military flights evacuating diplomats and civilians resumed earlier on Tuesday after the runway at Kabul airport was cleared of thousands of people desperate to flee after the Taliban seized the capital.
The Netherlands has sent a second military plane to Afghanistan to help evacuate people from the country, fearing time for the operation is running out, Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag said on Tuesday.
Kaag said the aim was to extract at least the almost 40 local Afghan staff at the Dutch Embassy and their families, along with translators and other Afghans whose lives may be in danger from Taliban militants because of their work for the Netherlands or non-governmental organizations.

But Kaag said it was very uncertain how many people would get out and how much time there was for the operation. “We will do everything we can to get those who deserve our protection out”, she said in a debate with Dutch members of parliament.
“But we are not in control of the situation (and) we have to assume we only have very limited time. The grim reality is that that people might not be able to reach (Kabul) airport.”
Kaag added the Dutch were reliant on US armed forces to protect the airport and on American negotiations with the Taliban to help ensure safe passage for those who want to leave Afghanistan.
The Dutch military sent an initial flight to Afghanistan on Monday, but that plane was unable to land in Kabul due to the chaos at the airport.
Meanwhile, a second Czech plane left Kabul on Tuesday, evacuating Czechs and local staff from Afghanistan after the Taliban seized control of the country, Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhanek said.
The Czech Republic evacuated 46 citizens and local workers and their families on Sunday. Tuesday’s flight included the country’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Kulhanek said.
Luxembourg said on Tuesday that it would send a military plane to Kabul in a joint move with Belgium to evacuate its citizens and allies.
The Grand Duchy said it was in contact with four Luxembourg citizens and two Luxembourg residents who are still in Afghanistan.


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