PoliticsFrance to end its airlift on Thursday if the...

France to end its airlift on Thursday if the United States withdraws on August 31

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If the United States withdraws as planned from Afghanistan on August 31, France will end the airlift put in place to exfiltrate Afghans from Kabul wanting to escape the Taliban, a senior French diplomat said on Tuesday.

If the United States follows its target of total withdrawal on August 31, “for us, in terms of ‘back-planning’, that means our operation ends Thursday evening. So we have three days left ”, explained the director of the cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nicolas Roche, to Prime Minister Jean Castex, in the presence of journalists.

Fifty French people still to be evacuated

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Since the fall of Kabul, now in the hands of the Taliban, on August 15, France has established an airlift to exfiltrate threatened French and Afghans. Nearly 2,000 people have already been taken out of the country by these means. The Taliban have firmly opposed any postponement of the departure of US forces in Afghanistan, while a virtual G7 summit on Tuesday is due to take stock of the evacuations and consider sanctions.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has identified another 62 French people who remain to be evacuated, and very many Afghans have requested an exfiltration that the authorities are examining. During the visit to the Crisis and Support Center (CDCS) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jean Castex underlined the need “to distinguish between emergencies, which requires rapid responses, from the rest”. The CDCS has thus received nearly 120,000 calls since the start of the bridge, “90% to 95% of the calls are from Afghan refugees in France who are worried about their families,” according to the ministry.

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