NL will try again after failed attempt to evacuate people from Kabul
On Wednesday, the Netherlands will try again to land a plane in Kabul and evacuate people from Afghanistan, after a similar attempt on Tuesday failed. Unlike on Monday, Tuesday's plane was able to land, but no Dutch people or people with a Dutch visa made it on board. Afghan people who wanted to get on the plane, were stopped by American soldiers, NOS and RTL Nieuws report.
American soldiers are not allowing Afghan people access to the airport at this stage, which means that interpreters and their families, whom the Netherlands are trying to evacuate, cannot get to the planes. Dutch people also had trouble getting to and into the airport. The transport plane, which was sent to pick up people on behalf of the Netherlands, Norway and Finland, eventually had to depart with only 40 people on board, none of whom were Dutch or Afghan.
A source who is in close contact with Dutch people at the airport told NOS that American soldiers fired shots on Tuesday afternoon, presumably as a warning in connection with crowds trying to enter the airport. One person was killed. The source thinks this incident contributed to access to the airport being closed.
Minister Sigrid Kaag of Foreign Affairs called the failed evacuation "terrible", telling RTL Nieuws that there was too little time and that American soldiers would not let Afghan people enter the airport. "A lot of people were there with their families, with children. They were standing there at the gates of the airport. I think it's terrible," Kaag said. She is in consultation with the Americans to try and prevent this from happening again, she said. She will also discuss the matter with her German counterpart Heiko Maas.
The Dutch Minister did not criticize the way the United States is handling things. "It is very difficult to guess from The Hague what should happen at Kabul airport," she said. "We are being modest. But what we're doing now is applying pressure in every way, to gain clarity and make sure everyone we want to evacuate is evacuated."