Germany says still committed to evacuations

AP , Sunday 29 Aug 2021

Maas underscored that Germany's 'engagement is not ending with the conclusion of the military evacuation mission'

Germany says it is committed to helping people still in Afghanistan seeking to get out, as well as those who have already fled as refugees.

At the start of a four-day, five-country trip focused on evacuation efforts in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas underscored that Germany's ``engagement is not ending with the conclusion of the military evacuation mission.''

Maas spoke before his arrival in Turkey, the first country on his itinerary. After Turkey, Maas will continue on to Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Qatar.

The trip comes just days after Germany ended its military evacuation operations in Afghanistan. According to the German defense ministry, the German Bundeswehr evacuated 5,347 people from at least 45 different countries. Thousands, however, are still trying to get out.

In his statement, Maas acknowledged that several of the countries he is visiting have played a ``considerable part in ensuring the success'' of the evacuation efforts. He added that he believes a ``coordinated international approach to the Taliban'' is necessary.

``Our offer of support to the neighboring countries to assist them with coping with the humanitarian and economic fallout is also part of this,'' he said. ``It is in our own interests to ensure that the collapse in Afghanistan does not destabilize the entire region.''

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