First Lufthansa plane with evacuees from Afghanistan lands in Germany

The images of crowds trying to flee Kabul are embarrassing to Western nations, the German president said on Tuesday (August 17), as desperate people cried out at the airport after the Taliban took office., write to Sabine Siebold, Kirsti Knolle, Madeline Chambers, Andreas Rinke in Rostock, Emma Thomasson, Maria Sheahan, Paul Carrel, Hans-Edzard Busemann and Christian kraemer.

“We are experiencing a human tragedy for which we share responsibility,” President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said after the Western-backed initiative. the government in Kabul collapsed and its foreign-trained security forces vanished. Read more.

Germany, which had the second-largest military contingent in Afghanistan after the United States, wants to airlift thousands of dual German-Afghan citizens, as well as rights activists, lawyers and people who worked with foreign forces.


“The images of despair at the Kabul airport put the political West to shame,” Steinmeier, whose post is largely ceremonial, said in a statement at the German presidential palace.

“All the more so now we have to support those to whom we are indebted for their work and support.”

A first German military plane landing in Kabul since the Taliban took power evacuated only seven people due to airport chaos after soldiers flew in on Monday.


But a second took off from Kabul airport early Tuesday afternoon with more than 120 people on board, including Germans, Afghans and people from other countries, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas tweeted.

More evacuations followed, and Germany deployed 600 soldiers for that purpose.

People try to enter Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, on August 16, 2021. REUTERS / Stringer
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier observes during a joint press conference with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem on July 1, 2021. REUTERS / Ronen Zvulun

Chancellor Angela Merkelin the photo) has warned that Afghans fleeing to neighboring countries could reach Europe, in a repeat of the 2015 migration crisis, if they do not receive sufficient humanitarian assistance. read more

She wants the refugees to be guaranteed security first in Afghanistan’s neighboring countries, and for the European Union to consider later whether it can take people in.

“Reaching a common position within the EU is not easy. It is a weakness of the EU that we have not created a common asylum policy,” he told a press conference.

Germany opened its borders six years ago to more than 1 million migrants, many of them Syrian, fleeing war and poverty – a move that earned Merkel praise abroad but eroded her political capital at home.

She plans to retire after the federal elections on September 26.

Armin Laschet, the president of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) who is running to succeed her as chancellor, called for future military interventions abroad to have a clear objective, timeline and exit strategy.

“The lesson of the last 20 years is that the goal of regime change, to intervene militarily to end a dictatorship and build a democracy, has almost universally failed,” he said in Rostock, northern Germany.

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