189 people are still awaiting evacuation from Afghanistan to NL
In total, 189 people are still waiting to be brought to the Netherlands from Afghanistan, foreign affairs minister Wopke Hoekstra has told MPs. They include people who worked for the Dutch in Afghanistan, either as interpreters or fixers for journalists as well as 79 close family members.
Since the evacuation effort, which started on August 26 last year, 2,551 people have been brought to the Netherlands, either directly or via Pakistan, the minister said.
Those who still remain in Afghanistan were either unable to reach Pakistan because they were held at the border, had no money to make the trip or whose paperwork had not yet been finalised, Hoekstra said. A number of others declined to take advantage of offers of help.
The Pakistan route has now been closed, meaning people without passports can ‘unfortunately’ no longer make the journey, Hoekstra said. He did not go into details about why Pakistan is no longer cooperating.
‘We can only advise them to try and arrange a passport for themselves and their core family members. We will keep abreast of their situation and they will be brought over when the opportunity arises.’
A final effort will be made to evacuate people with passports by November 1, Hoekstra said. Those who remain behind will still be welcome in the Netherlands but will have to make the journey themselves.
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