(Kabul) – The evacuation of diplomats, foreigners and other Afghans continues under difficult conditions in Kabul, which is in the hands of the Taliban.
A giant air bridge has since Sunday mobilized a series of planes from around the world, at an airport whose vicinity is closely controlled by the Taliban.
Berlin sends 600 soldiers to Kabul
Germany has already released 500 people, including 202 Afghans, and has also agreed to send 600 soldiers to Kabul, to support the evacuation of “as many people as possible”, until September 30 at the latest.
A new Afghan trip to France
The French air bridge continues across the Emirates, and a new flight is scheduled to arrive on Thursday, carrying 120 passengers, most of whom are also Afghans. The first Afghans brought to safety by France arrived in Paris on Wednesday evening.
“We are in the process of identifying a number of very urgent needs; France’s Minister of State for European Affairs Clément Bauen said on Thursday, we are probably talking about a few thousand people to be smuggled, most of them Afghans.
He said that France would be “in the face of asylum” for the threatened Afghans, referring to the “possibility” of holding an extraordinary European summit.
Washington and London have evacuated thousands of people
The United States, which plans to evacuate more than 30,000 Americans and Afghan civilians through its bases in Kuwait and Qatar, has already moved more than 7,000 people since the evacuations began on August 14.
In total, nearly 12,000 people have been evacuated since the end of July. They include US citizens, US embassy members, and Afghans who worked for the US, particularly as interpreters for the US military, who applied for a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) for fear of Taliban reprisals.
But the US State Department says the Taliban is breaking their promise and “preventing Afghans who wish to leave the country from reaching the airport”. The United States sent 6,000 military personnel to secure the Kabul airport.
The United Kingdom, for its part, has evacuated 306 Britons and 2,052 Afghans.
Air bridges to other countries
Spain began a first series of exercises with three military aircraft via Dubai. The first plane carrying 50 Afghanis and some Spaniards arrived Thursday morning.
Turkey, which has already received 324 of its citizens on Monday, is organizing the return of “more than 200” more from Kabul on Wednesday.
Other national and/or Afghan departures have already taken place since last weekend, notably to the Netherlands, Poland (a second plane arrived on Thursday), Denmark, Norway, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Bulgaria.
The first evacuation flight in Kabul, with 35 Dutch nationals as well as Belgium, Britain and Germany on board, landed on Wednesday evening at Schiphol at Amsterdam airport. The German Foreign Ministry thanked in particular the Netherlands for evacuating 69 of its citizens.
Another plane carrying the Dutch ambassador, an emergency consular team and 62 soldiers landed in Kabul on Wednesday evening, in order to “carry out as many evacuations as possible”.
Fifteen Romanians failed to reach Kabul airport and the plane sent by their country left only one citizen.
Denmark has smuggled about 320 people from Kabul.
More than 200 Afghans arrive in Rome
Two hundred and two Afghans landed Thursday at Fiumicino, Rome’s airport with human rights activist Zahra Ahmadi in the group and staff from the Veronese Foundation (the foundation used to run a cancer center in Herat, a company today).
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