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EU: US obstructions making Afghanistan evacuations impossible

The European Union's foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell

The European Union’s foreign policy chief says the United States’ overly restrictive checks at the Kabul airport makes timely evacuation of all of the bloc’s allied Afghans impossible.

There are some 60,000 of the Afghans, whom the body seeks to evacuate by August 31, the deadline that the US has set for the controversial full withdrawal of its forces from the Central Asian country.

Speaking to AFP on Saturday, the EU official, Josep Borrell, said, "It's mathematically impossible" for all of those to leave through the terminal by that time given the US’s highly preventive measures.


Brussels has faced Washington with a complaint over the issue, saying the American checks were preventing thousands of the staff from even entering the facility. 

“As far as I know, for the moment the Americans haven't said they will stay beyond August 31…,” Borrell said.

He said just 150 of the 400 Afghans employed by the EU had been evacuated so far. "I'm very aware that this is very insufficient," he said.

“Planes are leaving while people are still on the tarmac,” the official noted.

He also called for an EU summit to address the situation that the bloc has found itself in due to Washington’s April-present flash pullout.

The US announced the pullout right during a wholesale Taliban offensive meant to renew the militants’ rule over the country.

Washington did not decide against its move or even slow it down as the group would stack up on its gains.

The militants have now restored their control over almost entire Afghanistan, including the capital, and are seeking out, what they call, a “peaceful transition” of power.

Washington’s decision to take the troops out, despite its years-long refusal to do so, has had observers speculate whether it has come to an arrangement with the militants towards bringing about potential chaos.

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