Berlin (dpa) – After the Taliban took power in Afghanistan, Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said the first flight of the Bundeswehr took place there under extremely difficult conditions.
“We have a very confusing, dangerous, complex situation at the airport, especially because of the crowds,” the CDU politician said in the ARD morning magazine on Tuesday morning.
“Yesterday we managed to land our plane in a breakneck landing. Above all, we have brought soldiers there who are now protecting themselves, so that the people we want to fly out have the opportunity to get on the plane at all. That was the main task yesterday,” said the minister.
“We had very little time, so we only took those who were there now and were unable to be at the airport in large numbers yesterday due to the chaotic situation,” said Kramp-Karrenbauer. She did not explicitly address the number of seven people from the official list of excursions aboard the machine, which was mentioned in a media report.
Only seven people evacuated
The deputy chairman of the parliamentary group of the Union in the Bundestag, Johann Wadephul, said on Deutschlandfunk about the song: “That’s right. There are only seven. We only had a very short 30-minute slot for the machine, and we could only take those who were there,” the foreign policy official said.
“It would have been irresponsible, because it was not at all certain that the plane could land, to bring more to the airport there now.” The main purpose of the first landing was to “land robust troops to the airport” to get a picture of the situation.
Minister Kramp-Karrenbauer said on ARD: “We have now prepared everything for the evacuation at night.” She added: “The second plane is currently waiting for the Americans to make it clear that it can leave for Kabul so that we can begin the evacuations.”
According to Kramp-Karrenbauer, there are two scenarios. After the first, the airport can only be kept open for a short time. “For this we now have very robust employees on site and will continue to strengthen them.” The second scenario is the construction of a real air bridge. Ultimately, a maximum of 600 soldiers are planned for this.
At the same time, the minister announced that he would deal with the latest events. “There is a lot that we also have to deal with within NATO. But then we are also asked to what extent we are prepared to bear the consequences and to what extent we are prepared to take measures that we previously left to the Americans.”
Refugees expected in Germany
German politicians expect hundreds of thousands of people to flee Afghanistan. Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) was speaking, according to information from the dpa, when group leaders in the Bundestag were informed about 300,000 to five million other Afghans who could flee. He did not mention a period.
The German Association of Cities called for aid for Afghanistan’s neighbors and for a national strategy to receive refugees. Federal Development Minister Gerd Müller (CSU) called for a European effort to help refugees.