Borel: Evacuation of Afghan personnel from Kabul by August 31 is impossible

Josep Borrell PHOTO: Reuters

European Foreign Minister Josep Borrell called it impossible to evacuate all Afghan aid workers to Western countries before August 31st. In an interview with AFP, he expressed regret that US security measures at Kabul airport make such an evacuation difficult, BTA reported.

The US administration has set a deadline of August 31 for the final withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and plans to evacuate more than 30,000 Americans and Afghan civilians.

“It’s mathematically impossible,” Borel said in a telephone interview.

“As far as I know, the Americans have not announced that they will stay after that date. But they can change their minds,” he added.

According to him, the problem is access to the airport. “The control and security measures of the Americans are very strong. We complained. We asked them to be flexible. We are not able to get our staff there,” Borel explained.

The EU Delegation in Kabul alone has about 400 Afghan staff and their families. Brussels has promised to evacuate them, but so far only 150 of them have reached Spain.

Joseph Borrell added that there are two airports in Kabul. The civilian is in the hands of the Taliban and there are no flights from there. The Americans control the military airport. He clarified that in today’s plane to Madrid, one third of the passengers were Americans.

He said if the Americans left, the Europeans did not have the military capacity to deal with the military airport and its security, so the Taliban would take it over.

According to Borel, it is necessary to talk to the Taliban. “If you want to take your staff out, you have to talk to the Taliban,” he explained.

Talking to them does not mean being recognized, said the head of European diplomacy.

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