Netherlands could send personnel, €1 million in aid to reopen Kabul airport
The Dutch government is willing to provide personnel and other assistance to help reopen the airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. Foreign Affairs Minister Sigrid Kaag said the Cabinet would commit a million euros in aid to get the airport up and running, seen as critical to resuming the process of allowing more people to flee Afghanistan now that the capital has been overtaken by the Taliban.
"We are investigating whether we can provide resources and possibly also people," Kaag said in Ankara on Thursday after meeting with Turkey's foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, according to ANP. She was in Turkey to discuss the situation in Afghanistan after visiting Qatar and Pakistan earlier in the week. The Dutch delegation reportedly spoke directly with a Taliban representative during the stop in Doha.
She said the Netherlands wants to work with Turkey and Qatar to reopen the airport in Kabul. "We want to do everything we can to support countries that are committed to security, and that want to make it possible to access the airport again." The goal, she said, is to facilitate the continued evacuation of Dutch people and Afghans that want to be brought to the Netherlands.
There are as many as 16,000 people who want to leave Afghanistan for the Netherlands, including some who were left behind when the Netherlands was forced to stop its evacuation mission two weeks ago. Shortly before, the Taliban took Kabul after a rapid advance as the international military mission in Afghanistan began to withdraw from the country.
Qatar and Turkey both helped the Netherlands evacuate over 2,500 people before the Kabul airport was closed by the Taliban. The Dutch diplomatic mission to Afghanistan has temporarily relocated to Doha.