Country has ended evacuation operations, leaving behind around 300 citizens, 10,000 Afghans who are at high risk.
BERLIN (AA) – Around 300 German citizens remain in Afghanistan after Germany ended its evacuation flights from Kabul, the Foreign Ministry confirmed on Friday.
Deputy spokesperson Christofer Burger told a press conference in Berlin that more citizens have contacted the ministry saying they want to leave Afghanistan.
“We assume that there are around 300 German citizens who remain in Afghanistan,” he said, adding that the figure may change due to the uncertain situation and communication problems in the country.
“As of yesterday, we have identified more than 10,000 Afghans who are eligible for evacuation, including both Afghan local staff and persons in need of protection,” he added.
Germany ended evacuation flights from Afghanistan on Thursday evening due to the deteriorating security situation in Kabul and the Taliban’s Aug. 31 deadline for foreign troops to exit the country.
All remaining German soldiers, police officers, and diplomats left the country on military aircraft, German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told reporters in Berlin.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said while evacuations using military planes have ended, Germany will continue its efforts for Afghan local staff, family members, and people at risk of persecution under Taliban rule.
“The Foreign Ministry, our envoy [Markus] Potzel is holding talks with the Taliban. We’ll coordinate our next steps with our international partners,” she told a press conference on Thursday evening.
Potzel is currently in talks with the Taliban in Qatar to convince the group to allow civilian airlifts from the country in the coming weeks, and permit Afghans who want to leave the county to travel abroad.
Germany has evacuated nearly 5,300 people from Afghanistan since the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul, but thousands of Afghans who worked for the German military, development agencies, and other institutions are still trying to leave the country.
Merkel’s coalition government has been criticized by opposition parties for failing to anticipate the Taliban’s swift advances and ignoring repeated warnings to evacuate German citizens, Afghan local staff, and people at heightened risk of persecution.