Afghanistan: embassy evacuation begins immediately | free press

Berlin (DPA) – The first members of the German embassy in Kabul will be flown out of the Afghan capital on Sunday. Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas (SPD) announced this in the evening in Berlin.

In addition, Bundeswehr transport aircraft would leave at night “to support the necessary evacuation work and carry it out in the coming days”.

The military machines would initially take people from Kabul to a neighboring country, Maas said. “We also provide civilian aircraft for subsequent transport from there to Germany.” According to Maas, an ‘operational core team’ from the embassy in Kabul will remain in the military-secured part of the airport to keep the embassy in good condition and to supervise further evacuation measures.

“We are now doing everything we can to allow our nationals and our former local staff to leave the country in the coming days,” Maas said. “The circumstances under which this could take place are difficult to predict at this time.” That is why the federal government is in close contact with the US and other international partners. “We have agreed that we will support each other in the evacuation measures in the coming days.”

With a view to the advance of the Taliban on the Afghan capital Kabul, the embassy personnel had already been taken to the airport during the day. “The colleagues are here now and they are safe there,” Maas said. The crisis team had contact during a meeting in the afternoon.

US embassy warns compatriots

Meanwhile, the US embassy in Kabul has ordered compatriots to get to safety. “The security situation in Kabul is changing rapidly, including at the airport. There are reports that the airport has come under fire; that’s why we’re instructing American citizens to get to safety,” a warning issued Sunday said.

The safe operation of the airport is a precondition for a number of countries, including Germany, to be able to quickly fly out their personnel as planned.

According to CNN, the US military is considering sending additional troops to Kabul. A decision has not yet been made. There was initially no official confirmation of these considerations. A total of 5,000 American soldiers must ensure security in Kabul and at the airport during the evacuation.

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