The United States has agreed with Afghanistan’s new rulers, the Taliban, that the Kabul airport could be used to evacuate people until August 31. The Netherlands, along with NATO allies, continues to argue that this period should be extended, but it does not seem to be an option.
With man and power
In practice, the evacuation planes may have to be stopped beforehand because it will take a few days for the Americans to safely expel their 6,000 troops from the country. That’s why people in ‘increasingly difficult situations’ are working with all their might to evict as many people as possible.
Since last week, more than a thousand people have taken off on departure flights from Kabul, with their final destination in the Netherlands. 644 of them came to the Netherlands. In addition to the local embassy staff, translators and their families and Dutch nationals were still in Afghanistan.
The latter group, incidentally, is significantly larger than expected, the Foreign Ministry agrees. It is estimated that there are still hundreds of Dutch people in Afghanistan, with years of negative travel advice and an urgent call to leave earlier this month.
Last week, the House of Representatives ordered the removal of the cabinet, except for Afghan translators who are at risk from working in the Dutch service. Thousands of people have come forward, including journalists, human rights activists, lawyers and employees of development organizations.
There are 250 people assigned to this group, and they are actually at extra risk because of their work. “These people have been summoned to Kabul airport, where our people will help them get out.”
Dutch troops are also taking evacuees to the Afghan capital, Kabul. According to the cabinet, everything is being done to take people to the airport.
In a letter to the House of Representatives, Sigrid Cock (Foreign Affairs), Ank Bijleweld (Defense) and Angie Brockers-Knol (Justice and Defense) wrote, “Some of the soldiers there will help you reach the airport.
Protecting the Dutch people
It is said that the soldiers did not go far to the city. The main task of the army was to protect Dutch diplomats, Dutch aircraft and evacuees at the airport.
At the airport, the military ensures that people who need to be evacuated also enter the airport grounds. Every day, four planes of the Dutch Air Force are scheduled for Kabul. There is a runway and is provided to Dutch soldiers half an hour after landing to board the plane.
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