European Envoys to Return to Afghanistan

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Several European countries are considering the return of their diplomatic envoys to Afghanistan to resolve security issues.

We are considering the opening of a joint diplomatic mission in Afghanistan, French President Emmanuel Macron has said.

A number of issues had to be resolved for ambassadors to return, Macron said.

He further expressed hope that a mission would open soon.

This would not amount to a political recognition of the Taliban, he said.

Western ambassadors pulled out of Afghanistan after the Taliban retook power in August.

Following Kabul airport bombing attacks, Western nations rushed to evacuate people from Afghanistan.

However, many Afghans who helped during two decades of war would be left behind to face an uncertain fate under the Taliban when foreign troops leave next week.

The attacks killed at least 95 Afghans and wounded more than 100, according to the Associated Press.

A dozen of US soldiers were among the victims.

Evacuation in Numbers

In total, the US has evacuated around 12,500 people, raising the overall evacuees since the Taliban takeover on 14 August to about 105,000.

Spain has now ended its evacuation following the attack, the government said.

Two military planes carrying the last 81 Spaniards out of Kabul arrived in Dubai early on Friday. The planes were also carrying four Portuguese soldiers and 83 Afghans who had worked with Nato countries, the government said.

Germany ended evacuation flights on Thursday.

The German military evacuated 5,347 people, including more than 4,100 Afghans.

The French Defence Ministry said that more than 100 French nationals and more than 2,500 Afghans had reached French soil coming from Kabul.

Australia has completed its evacuation efforts and will cease its on-the-ground operations, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

Canberra has evacuated more than 4,100 people over the past nine days, including citizens and Afghans with Australian visas.

Morrison’s government has resisted some calls to offer a 20,000-spot asylum programme like the UK and Canada.