Germany moves diplomatic staff members in Afghanistan to Kabul Airport

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This picture taken on August 14, 2021 shows aircrafts standing on the tarmac of the airport in Kabul. (Photo by Wakil KOHSAR / AFP)

Germany on Sunday moved its diplomatic personnel in Kabul from the embassy to the airport ahead of an evacuation planned from Monday, as the Taliban reached the outskirts of the Afghan capital.

“I have decided this morning to move the personnel from the Kabul embassy into the military section of the airport,” Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Twitter.

Sources close to the defence ministry said an evacuation was planned from Monday.

Germany announced Friday it was slashing staff levels at its Kabul embassy to an “absolute minimum” as the security situation deteriorates around the city.

“We are not going to risk our people falling into the hands of the Taliban,” Maas told the Bild daily on Sunday.

The minister called a meeting of “crisis cell” to organise the evacuation of “German employees and other persons in danger”.

The German army will assist with the evacuations, Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said Saturday.

“The security situation in Afghanistan continues to escalate,” she said, adding that the military would help the foreign ministry in repatriating German citizens and evacuating local staff “who are in need of protection to Germany”.

The ministry estimates its remaining staff count at the embassy in the “high double digits”.

The Taliban were on the brink of total victory in Afghanistan on Sunday, with their fighters ordered to wait on the outskirts of the capital and the government conceding it was preparing for a “transfer of power”.

Other NATO members including Britain, Denmark and Spain, have also announced they are evacuating their embassy personnel. (AFP)

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