Netherlands doing "everything" to bring people back from Afghanistan, PM says
The situation in Afghanistan is "obscure and worrying", departing Prime Minister Mark Rutte (VVD) said on Monday morning as he left cabinet formation talks with D66 leader and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sigrid Kaag, NOS and BNR report.
The Prime Minister said that "everything" is being done to get embassy staff, interpreters and "others who deserve our protection" out of Afghanistan. He did not respond to questions on exactly who he was referring to.
Kaag also did not want to say much about the situation. "We are working on getting people away," she said after the formation meeting.
The Afghan capital of Kabul fell to the Taliban on Sunday. The extremist military movement has been gaining ground in the country at an alarming pace since NATO troops started withdrawing. On Sunday and Monday, thousands of people were gathered at the airport in Kabul, trying to flee from the country before the Taliban could stop them.
Minister Ank Bijleveld of Defense previously said that a plane was sent to pick up Netherlands residents in the country. On Monday, she amended that this involved an air bridge of multiple flights.
Derk Boswijk, defense spokesperson for the CDA in parliament, doubts whether this will be enough, according to BNR. "The situation is chaotic and frustrating for everyone who sees it."
Ukraine said it evacuated a number of Netherlands residents from Afghanistan, though it is not yet clear how many and who was involved.