NATO scrambles to complete Afghanistan evacuations ‘as soon as possible’

NATO allies around Europe and beyond are sending military aircraft to Afghanistan in ongoing efforts to pull as many of its own citizens, and vulnerable Afghans, out of the country as the Taliban assumed control of the nation after two decades of war.

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Press briefing on Afghanistan by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg

NATO’s focus right now is to ensure the safe departure of personnel from Allied and partner countries….

NATO has been working round the clock to maintain operations at Kabul international airport.

Around 800 NATO civilian personnel have remained to provide key functions under very challenging circumstances.

….France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg air forces are all participating in the evacuation mission.

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Over the past few years, from over 100,000 troops we went down to less than 10,000 – and now to zero.

But what we have seen in the last few weeks was a military and political collapse at a speed which had not been anticipated.