While thousands of people are still congregating at Kabul airport in the hope of fleeing Afghanistan which has fallen into the hands of the Taliban, the United States, Australia and Great Britain have called on their nationals to move away. as soon as possible because of “terrorist” threats.
The three countries simultaneously issued very specific and almost identical warnings overnight from Wednesday to Thursday. People “currently at the Abbey, East and North entrances should leave immediately,” the US State Department said, citing “security threats.” Australian diplomacy, for its part, warned of a “very high threat of terrorist attack”.
London issued a similar alert, adding: “If you are in the airport area, leave it to a safe place and wait for further instructions. If you are able to leave Afghanistan safely by other means, do so immediately ”.
Evacuations even after August 31
These warnings come as the head of the American diplomacy Antony Blinken had assured shortly before that the Taliban had committed to let leave the Americans and the Afghans at risk still in the country after the deadline of August 31st. “The Taliban have made commitments in public and private to provide and enable safe passage for Americans, other foreigners, and Afghans at risk in the future after August 31,” he said. He did not specify how their departure would be organized, however, as US forces are due to leave the country by the end of the month – a deadline confirmed by US President Joe Biden on Tuesday.
Germany also said on Wednesday that it had received assurances from the Taliban that Afghans could leave their country on commercial flights after the final withdrawal of American troops on August 31. Deputy head of the Taliban political bureau in Qatar Sher Abbas Stanekzai “assured me that Afghans with valid documents will continue to be able to travel on commercial flights after August 31,” Markus Potzel, an official on Twitter, said on Twitter. German diplomat negotiating with the Taliban after a meeting in Qatar.
Withdrawal of soldiers
Belgium for its part announced that the evacuations of its nationals and the Afghans it was protecting had ceased Wednesday evening, and France warned that its airlift would cease on Thursday evening if the date of August 31 was maintained. Turkey has meanwhile announced the withdrawal of its soldiers, who were guarding Kabul airport alongside the US military, thus abandoning its proposal to continue to provide security at Kabul airport after the withdrawal of US forces.
During a virtual summit Tuesday with the other leaders of the G7, Joe Biden had ruled out the idea of extending beyond August 31 the American military presence in Kabul, already evoking a “serious and increasing risk of attack” of the group jihadist Islamic State (IS) at the airport. “We are on track to complete by August 31” the “mission” to “evacuate people as effectively and safely as possible,” said the US president.