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Ireland
Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Taliban assures that evacuations can take place after tomorrow’s deadline

The Taliban has issued assurances to Ireland and over 90 other countries including the US and UK, that the evacuation of their citizens will still be allowed after tomorrow’s deadline.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney stated that the Taliban wants to reopen Kabul airport and have it operating safely with commercial airlines.

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Coveney stated that the Taliban won’t prevent foreign nationals from leaving Afghanistan, as well as Afghans who have paperwork and visas to leave.

“Of course people are sceptical about that, and that is why I would say: those that are in contact with our consular team should stay in close contact with our consular team and we will work with them to try to make sure that they can travel as safely as possible.”

There are currently 60 Irish citizens or family members across Afghanistan and at least 15 Afghans with Irish residency.

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In Ireland, there have been 150 cases of family reunification that have been prioritised by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

There are also 250 cases of vulnerable Afghans who would be doing work that is inconsistent with the Taliban and have been granted asylum in the state.

In regards to the situation at Kabul airport, British troops have already left while US troops will be leaving tomorrow.

UK-led operations resulted in the evacuation of 15,000 people from Afghanistan as part of Operation Pitting, which is believed to be the largest evacuation mission since World War II.

US-led operations resulted in over 120,000 evacuations and are to officially end tomorrow.

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