The government will do everything in its power to bring Afghans who are at risk for assisting the Dutch government to the Netherlands. Thats what the demissionary revisers promised in the House of Representatives.
However, they stressed that they cannot provide any guarantees, because it is not certain that those involved can reach the airport in Kabul. “Thats the terrible reality,” Minister Kaag said.
The Chamber Committee for Defence had suspended the recess for a debate with Ministers Kaag and Bijleveld and Secretary of State Broekers-Knol. The Chamber urged a majority not only to be generous in relation to interpreters who worked for the Dutch government, but also to drivers, cooks, security guards, for example. According to the Chamber, the Cabinet also needs to work for (fixers of) journalists and people who have participated in Dutch development projects.
The Chamber was very critical of many of the too slow pace with which the Cabinet has worked for the interpreters. The cabinet would have been too bureaucratic. Bijleveld and Broekers rejected that and said that everything has always been done to bring the interpreters to the Netherlands.
But they stressed that the Afghan government demanded that the Afghan government always demanded a passport before people were allowed to leave the country. “We were dealing with a legitimate government,” Bijleveld stressed. Youre not allowed to kidnap people. We cannot intervene in a sovereign country.”
Bijleveld said that 43 interpreters with their families have arrived in the Netherlands since July and that now a total of 111 Afghan interpreters are in the Netherlands. With their family members, thats 500 people. According to the Minister, there are a further 67 interpreters to come and 35 more who worked for the European Police Mission.
The government plans to form an airlift from tomorrow to evacuate people from Afghanistan. There is a plane that will go to Kabul via a stopover to drop off a new embassy team and 62 security soldiers. The original embassy staff was evacuated yesterday.
Two Dutch Hercules transport aircraft are planned to be used in the next few days. “From a nearby country, they will set up an airlift. They can fly up and down a few times every day,” Bijleveld said. Yesterday also a Dutch plane was on its way to Afghanistan, but it was not allowed to land.
Kaag called the situation in the country dramatic. “Its a disaster; developments have taken place much faster than the international community and we too expected.” Kaag acknowledged that the Cabinet didnt see this coming.
the last few weeks, several interpreters came to the Netherlands. One of them is Barigul. He sees veterans Roy and Robert back in the Netherlands in this video – a few weeks old – after fifteen years. Barigul has been portrayed beyond recognition upon request:
She said in the debate that the Dutch embassy staff were lighted off their beds by US soldiers on the night of Saturday to Sunday. They were reported that the compound would be raided by the Taliban. According to Kaag, the Dutch were unable to inform the local staff at the time. “Thats not an evil will; they had to leave on instruction right away.”
The minister also said Afghan staff was briefed after that. She refuted it was abandoned.
Kaag underlined that the Netherlands cannot do without US assistance in terms of safety information, “aircover” and protection of the airport in Kabul. According to her, the Cabinet is also dependent on the United States for contacts with the Taliban.
The committee debate, which lasted much longer than planned, was regularly very critical in tone. Many MPs showed themselves annoyed, because according to them the regrettors referred to each other too often. Tomorrow will also be a brief plenary debate in the Chamber.
CCEit on 3 dived in 20 years Afghanistan: