France to end Kabul evacuation operation by Friday: PM
France: France would fully end its operation to evacuate French nationals and Afghans in danger from Taliban-controlled Kabul by Friday evening, said the Prime Minister Jean Castex.
“Beyond this date, it will not be possible to carry out evacuations from Kabul airport,” Castex told RTL radio Thursday. A source close to the government added that the date had been enforced by the plan of the United States, which is providing security at the airport, to pull out by August 31.
The source added that France would do everything to keep its operation in place for as many more hours as it can, saying that the evacuation of civilians would wind up several hours before the formal end of the mission when military and remaining embassy services would leave.
Castex said some 2,500 people had been evacuated by France since the capture of Kabul by the Taliban on August 15. The operation has seen the evacuees taken to a French base in the United Arab Emirates by military aircraft and then onward to France.
He said this number included French citizens, but also Afghans who have contributed, in one way or another, in their support to the (French) army, as well and their families, artists and journalists.
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