The Latest developments on Afghanistan, where a weeklong Taliban offensive is now approaching the outskirts of the capital, Kabul, after the insurgents captured most of the north, west and south of the country, just weeks ahead of the final pullout of all U.S. and NATO troops:
PRAGUE — Czech Republic’s Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhanek says he has decided to immediately evacuate Czech diplomats from the Czech Embassy in the capital of Afghanistan to Kabul’s international airport.
Kulhanek says the decision was based on information from the allies and the Czech ambassador.
Czech leaders will meet later on Saturday to discuss what to do next due to the serious situation in Afghanistan where a Taliban offensive has now encircled Kabul.
MORE ON THE CRISIS IN AFGHANISTAN:
— , attack north Afghan city
— As Taliban tighten their grip, out
— Longest war: Were worth it?
— to aid urgent embassy airlift
— , in lives and dollars
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:
BERLIN — The Green party’s candidate to succeed Angela Merkel as chancellor in next month’s election has accused Germany’s government of abandoning Afghans who worked for the German army.
Annalena Baerbock said during a campaign event in Hannover on Saturday, that “many people in Afghanistan did everything they could to support the Bundeswehr mission as interpreters, by building infrastructure or as drivers.”
“It’s really disastrous that these people have been abandoned in recent days,” she said, calling for those Afghan workers now fearing for their lives to be rescued.
Germany’s foreign minister announced on Friday that his country is preparing charter flights to bring German diplomats and local staff out of Afghanistan.
ROME — Italy is preparing for the possible evacuation of its embassy employees as the Taliban continue its advance, pushing closer to the Afghan capital of Kabul.
“If it is necessary, we will quickly bring everyone to safety in Italy, with the important help of the Defense Ministry,’’ Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio told Corriere della Sera in an interview published Saturday.
In that case, he said that funds that so far have been used to secure Afghan operations could be redirected to provide protection to Afghans who have worked with Italian military and civilian officials there.
Di Maio acknowledged the specter of increased migration ahead of the Taliban’s advance, as well as “the risk of terrorist infiltration.” He said the threat needed to be managed by working with other countries to control flows.
Italy formally withdrew its troops from Afghanistan in June.