Saturday, September 18

Merkel seeks alternative ways to continue evacuating her nationals

Once Biden reaffirmed himself yesterday in the end of the evacuation operation set for August 31, the German chancellor wishes to continue removing people from Afghanistan by other means from that date. This was communicated to the partners of the G-7 and the general secretaries of NATO and the UN, with whom he explored “the role that civil flights from Kabul could have in the evacuation as of September.” “We understand that after August 31 the evacuation operation enters another phase,” Merkel said after the videoconference, “the G-7 is studying a possible road map and how to establish contact to talk about this all with one voice with the

Taliban ‘.

Merkel recognizes the irreplaceable role of the US “Of course, the leadership of the US is undeniable. Without them the evacuation we have carried out so far would not have been possible, only Germany more than a thousand people,” she said, after acknowledging that “The security situation is getting worse at times.” “Our German planes continue to move people, but it is clear that each flight is more difficult,” he admitted, reiterating that the priority targets to evacuate are German citizens, Afghan workers who have collaborated with Germany in recent years and Afghans whose human rights are compromised. under the Taliban regime. He also indicated that German soldiers “will continue to carry out this mission as long as there is a risk proportionate to the risk run by these people.”

Civil airports

Once some kind of communication is established with the Taliban, the G-7 will try to make them see the importance of having civil airports in Afghanistan, which currently do not exist. “For example, so that medicines can reach the country,” Merkel said, suggesting that civil flights with refugees can depart from those same airports. He also mentioned the desire for an “inclusive government” to be formed in Afghanistan with other people being part, “so that all Afghans can be represented.” He did not clarify how the G-7 could persuade the Taliban to form such a government, but did mention “the constructive role that Hamid Karzai is playing” in these preliminary contacts.

Merkel also assured that long-term Afghanistan was discussed extensively in the videoconference and that she conveniently informed German parliamentary groups and defense and foreign ministers about that conversation. He has also contacted the Pakistani and Iranian governments to find a way to “work together to host Afghan refugees.”

Meanwhile, in the face of the failure in the attempt to prolong the US military presence in Kabul, Emmanuel Macron prepares the end of the French evacuation operations and proposes to actively relaunch European and transatlantic cooperation against Islamism “in all its forms.”

From the perspective of the French president, it is urgent to start thinking about the new era that is beginning, after the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban. The official doctrine of President Macron is: “In Afghanistan there are terrorist groups present that will try to take advantage of the situation. The United Nations Security Council must give a united response. The transatlantic allies will have to take common initiatives. Afghanistan must no longer be a sanctuary for terrorism, as it was. What is at stake is international stability. We have a common enemy: terrorism. Europe, the US and Russia must cooperate. Our interests are the same.

In the French case, the fight against terrorism begins with a stricter control of “migratory flows” and a very severe police control of Afghans who have left Kabul to settle in various European countries.

The end of the evacuation

Shortly before Joe Biden confirmed his decision to withdraw the North American troops from Kabul, Nicolas Roche, director of the cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, commented to Jean Castex, in the presence of journalists, according to Afp ​​(Agence France Press): “In that In this case, France will suspend its evacuation operations next Thursday. We have three days left, “he said.

On August 15, France launched Operation Apagan, dedicated to the repatriation of French and Afghans close to France, for various reasons. The first seven flights of the operation carried a thousand men and women to France.

The French military planes take off from Kabul and land at the military premises of the Parisian airport of Roissy-Charles de Gaulle, where the first health, administrative and police controls are carried out, before starting the provisional or definitive installation of the repatriated French.

Emmanuel Macron shared with Angela Merkel and Boris Johnson the hope of a possible postponement of the definitive US military withdrawal from Kabul, in order to be able to prolong the repatriation tasks. With the end of the US military presence confirmed, France considers it very urgent to start thinking about a “very urgent” anti-terrorist / Islamist coordination.

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