Maas: continuing airlift from Afghanistan intensively

by Thorsten Koch

The German government intends to enter into negotiations with the Taliban about the departure of Afghan local staff. For this purpose, the German ambassador to Afghanistan, Potzel, has flown to Doha (Qatar) to ensure that local staff can be flown out of the airport in Kabul, the Afghan capital. The US government has since announced that the Taliban have made initial commitments. Nevertheless, due to the Taliban checkpoints in the country and near Kabul, the Federal Government is pessimistic about the chances of rescuing all local workers.

Flights to Tashkent

Two German air force planes have so far been able to bring 132 people from Kabul to Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, including Germans and Afghans and other nationals requiring protection. “The airlift has started and will be continued intensively, provided the security situation somehow allows,” tweeted Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. According to official information, people will continue from Tashkent to travel to Germany with Lufthansa charter planes.

Cooperation with European countries

On Tuesday, Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed on close cooperation with other European countries – France, Great Britain and Italy. She reaffirmed the UN Security Council’s declaration for an end to violence in Afghanistan. Also on Tuesday, the German Association of Cities called for humanitarian aid to be given to Afghanistan’s neighboring countries. “Germany and the international community must immediately send large amounts of aid to the region,” said City Council President Jung. A viable strategy to take in refugees from Afghanistan is needed as soon as possible, he added.

Development funds are not paid out

As a result of the factual takeover of power by the Taliban, state development aid for Afghanistan has been suspended with immediate effect, German Development Minister Gerd Müller announced. All employees of the German Society for International Cooperation have already left Afghanistan safely, he said. Germany had pledged up to 430 Euros in funds for Afghan civil society for the year 2021.

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