Denmark and Norway have announced plans to close their embassies in Kabul, while Germany has said it will minimize operations at its consulate in Afghanistan, as allied governments scramble to get their citizens out.
On Friday, Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod announced plans to close the country’s embassy in Kabul and evacuate its staff as the security situation worsens and the Taliban advances on the capital.
Shortly after the Danish announcement, Norwegian Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soreide also stated that the country’s embassy in Afghanistan would shut temporarily, and its staff would be repatriated.
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With reports spreading on Friday that the Taliban was just 50km (30 miles) from Kabul, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said their embassy in Kabul would greatly reduce its operations.
“The government’s crisis coordination team also decided to bring forward charter flights that were originally planned for the end of August,” Maas told reporters, noting that only a skeleton staff would remain and security measures would be stepped up. He added that Germany intends to fly out local helpers on the repatriation flights.
Also on Friday, the French government called on its citizens to leave Afghanistan as soon as possible, reiterating a call made last week.
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The UK and US have both announced that they will redeploy a contingent of troops to the war-torn country to oversee their repatriation efforts. Washington said on Thursday it plans to maintain a “core diplomatic presence” and US repatriation efforts will be aided by some 3,000 military personnel.
On Thursday, the British government announced that 600 troops would be deployed to oversee the evacuation of UK nationals. It also said its embassy will continue to focus on consular assistance and to provide visas for former UK staff in Afghanistan.
On Friday morning, the Taliban claimed the capture of Afghanistan’s second-largest city, Kandahar. This was followed by reports that the militant group had seized the city of Pul-i Alam, the provincial capital of Logar province, bringing them just 50km (30 miles) south of Kabul.
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