Heiko Maas acknowledges government acted too late to evacuate citizens, Afghan translators, and support staff.
BERLIN (AA) – Germany’s foreign minister on Monday admitted that his government acted too late to evacuate citizens, local translators, and support staff from Afghanistan.
Speaking at a press conference in Berlin, Heiko Maas said Germany and its international partners misjudged the situation and were unable to foresee that the Taliban could take control of Afghanistan so quickly.
“There is nothing to gloss over here. The federal government, intelligence services, the international community – we all failed to accurately assess the situation,” he said.
Germany sent three military planes to Afghanistan on Monday to evacuate the remaining diplomatic personnel and local Afghan staff, but none could land in Kabul as scheduled due to chaos at the airport.
In recent weeks Berlin had evacuated nearly 2,000 Afghan local staff from the country, but there were nearly 10,000 more trying to flee the country, including Afghans who worked for German development agencies, NGOs, and media outlets, as well as human rights activists and lawyers.