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As the Taliban take over Afghanistan, Europe scrambles to save personnel

European countries are hurrying to evacuate their nationals and employees working in Afghanistan after Taliban fighters assumed power, forced the president to depart the territory on Sunday.

Germany, Spain, and the Czech Republic are among the countries sending evacuation planes.

Heiko Maas, Germany's Foreign Minister, stated late Sunday that his government will be sending Bundeswehr military planes overnight to help evacuate civilians, first to a neighboring country and subsequently to Germany.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Paris has increased rescue operations and also is launching the first evacuation orders to the United Arab Emirates, while also pledging “full mobilization to enable the safe and quick evacuation of all our citizens and individuals from Afghan civilized society threatened by their engagements.”

Spain stated Monday that sending two flights to Dubai for the very first round of evacuation embassy employees, local Afghan employees who assisted Spain and their families, and European people.

Czech Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhanek said on Monday morning that a plane carrying 46 Czechs and local colleagues, as well as their families, landed in the country.

Dmytro Kuleba, Ukraine's Foreign Minister, stated that Ukraine is assisting EU nations with rescue efforts. “Ukrainian airplanes stationed in Kabul evacuated individuals from Ukraine, the Netherlands, Croatia, Belarus, and Afghanistan,” he tweeted. “They are now safe. We do not abandon our folks in order to aid others. In the event of future demands, we will do all in our power to assist Ukrainians and foreign nationals.”

European Council President Charles Michel said he's in "close communication" with the European Union top diplomat, Josep Borrell, but did not elaborate, tweeting: "Security of European citizens, employees, and their families is a priority in the near term." It is also obvious that numerous lessons will need to be drawn.”

16 August 2021


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