Germany will step up efforts to evacuate more than 15000 former local employees, NGO staff, and human rights activists from Afghanistan.
It was announced by Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock.
She said during a news conference in Berlin that as the foreign minister of the Federal Republic of Germany, I would like to underline that they have not been forgotten. We are working hard to get everyone to safety.
She said Germany’s new government will reduce bureaucratic hurdles, simplify visa procedures, and intensify talks with neighbouring countries to facilitate the evacuation of former local employees, their family members, and people at heightened risk of persecution.
The foreign minister also promised €600 million ($678.8 million) in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan and underlined that the aid will not flow through the Taliban but through UN organizations working in the country.
Germany’s top diplomat ruled out granting diplomatic recognition to the Taliban government.
Germany so far has facilitated the departure of about 10,000 people since the Taliban takeover of Kabul 5,300 on its own military flights and some 5,000 by other means after its airlift concluded in late August.
Baerbock said Germany is looking to see how it can speed up its procedures, because “particularly for women and girls, every day counts at the moment.” She said there need to be new talks with Iran Uzbekistan and Tajikistan — three of Afghanistan’s neighbours — to open up new routes out of the country. Germany has been working with Pakistan and Qatar to get people out.