Over 21,500 Afghan people applied for asylum in Netherlands
In the past weeks, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs received 21,512 emails from people in Afghanistan requesting asylum in the Netherlands, caretaker Ministers Sigrid Kaag of Foreign Affairs and Ank Bijleveld of Defense said in a "fact sheet" to parliament on Tuesday. A special email address was set up for asylum requests from Afghanistan, NOS reports.
The Ministers added that one email may involve requests for several people, so the number of actual asylum requests may well be higher. The Ministries are working on a further inventory to show exactly how many people are involved. They also said that the emails "initially seem to relate to the motion by Belhaj et al.", referring to a D66 motion passed by parliament saying that the government needs to help evacuate other people who worked for the Netherlands, not just interpreters and embassy workers.
The fact sheet also showed that the 1,673 people were evacuated from the Afghan capital of Kabul to the Netherlands in the past weeks. According to the Ministers, this group consists of 708 Dutch nationals, 371 interpreters and others who worked for international military or police missions and family members, 211 local embassy staff and family members, 30 United Nations staff, 19 people who worked for NATO, and 319 other people who fell under the target groups of the Belhaj motion.
The Ministers said that the cabinet is continuing its efforts to evacuate more people. A Dutch team and a C-130 Hercules transport aircraft was stationed in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad for possible deployment until this weekend, when they were called back because "it became clear that no deployment was foreseen in the short term."