Netherlands preparing evacuation of embassy in Kabul
The Netherlands hopes to keep the embassy in Kabul open as long as possible, but is making preparations in the event that embassy personnel and military personnel have to be brought back. That is what Ministers Sigrid Kaag of Foreign Affairs and Ank Bijleveld of Defense said on Friday morning.
The Taliban have been making rapid advances in Afghanistan in recent days. It is conceivable that within a few weeks the capital Kabul will also be besieged or even taken. If it comes to that, it will not be possible to keep the embassy open, acknowledged Minister Kaag. She spoke with the deputy ambassador on Friday morning, she said. "How things are going with the staff, how they see the situation. And of course expressed our enormous support and asked them to continuously keep in touch with us about what is still needed in all the preparations we are now making."
"We always pay close attention to the safety of the embassy staff, we are also responsible to that to a great extent," said Minister Bijleveld. For the time being, the security seems to be sufficiently in order. The two ministers did not want to give details for security reasons.
According to Bijleveld, Defense is also working with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice and Security on the return of interpreters who worked for the Netherlands. Of the 273 interpreters, about 110 have now been brought to the Netherlands with their families, she said. She hopes to be able to get the rest to the Netherlands "more quickly". "I hope that the embassy will remain open as long as possible because that is also important for the work we just talked about."
Reporting by ANP