Wednesday 22 September 2021

13 Dutch nationals evacuated from Kabul on first international flight


A group of 13 Dutch nationals were able to board a flight from Kabul airport to Qatar, on Thursday, the foreign affairs ministry has confirmed.

The Qatar Airways plane was the first international airline to fly from the airport since the evacuation flights stopped last month.

Sources told the AD that the Netherlands had a limited number of seats on the plane but that other Dutch nationals could have travelled if they had reached the airport in time.

As yet it is unclear who else was on the flight.

Foreign affairs minister Sigrid Kaag said she was grateful to Qatar for organising the flight. However ‘many people in Afghanistan still want to leave. The Netherlands will continue to try to help them,’ she said.

Thursday’s departure process involved ‘time pressure, security risks, uncertainty, Taliban check points and permissions to share information with the Qatar authorities,’ the ministry told the AD.

The foreign affairs ministry has received over 21,500 emails from people who ‘could be eligible’ for evacuation from Afghanistan to the Netherlands in recent days, ministers told parliament on Tuesday.

However, ministers have no idea how many of them would actually be eligible for refugee status in the Netherlands.

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