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Swiss diplomat describes ‘intense’ evacuation from Kabul

The arrival of Taliban fighters in Kabul prompted many people to flee. Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

The head of the Swiss cooperation office in Kabul has described the evacuation of the team from Afghanistan as “intense and emotional”.

This content was published on August 20, 2021 - 12:53
swissinfo.ch/mga

Six members of the Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development (SDC) were airlifted to safety by the German embassy in Kabul from Sunday to Monday.

“It was a very intense and emotional day,” says Walburga Roos in an interview published on the Swiss foreign office websiteExternal link. “We were all surprised by the pace of developments.”

“In this challenging situation, we not only had to deal with our own insecurities but also with the feelings and reactions of our employees, our partners and acquaintances.”

Roos is now working in Switzerland to help secure the evacuation of around 230 local staff members and their families.

“I am concerned for our Afghan colleagues and their families and for all other Afghans who currently feel threatened in their own country.”

Roos thanked foreign office officials in Switzerland, the Swiss embassies in Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Qatar, plus the German “evacuation partners” for getting the SDC team to safety.

So far, the Swiss government has refused to open the country’s doors to large numbers of Afghan refugees despite growing pressure to ease asylum conditions in light of the Taliban takeover of the war-torn country.

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