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Swiss government concerned about Afghan situation

Thousands of people rushed to the international airport of Kabul hoping to leave the country after the Taliban seized control. Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

There are still 28 registered Swiss nationals in Afghanistan, where the situation remains uncertain after the Taliban seized control of capital Kabul.

This content was published on August 17, 2021 - 18:55
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The Swiss embassy in neighbouring Pakistan is in contact with the remaining Swiss nationals, according to the foreign ministry.

On Monday the last three staff members from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation were flown out of Kabul. Switzerland is also planning to evacuate Afghan staff members and their families.

The foreign ministry expressed its concern about the security situation in Afghanistan and condemned alleged violations of international law.

“The high level of violence contributes significantly to the suffering of the Afghan population and increases the number of displaced persons in search of safety and protection,” the ministry said.

Petition

More than 6,800 people have signed a petition by left-wing groups and NGOs since Monday, calling on the Swiss government to take in Afghan refugees, especially women and children.

A spokesman for the group told the Swiss news agency Keystone-SDA that at least 5,000 refugees should be given shelter.

However, the right-wing Swiss People’s Party has rejected the proposal, saying it would also attract Islamic militants, criminals and people who refuse to be integrated in Swiss society.

Only people whose lives are under threat should be given asylum in Switzerland under a procedure that should be organised by the United States, the youth wing of the People’s Party said in a press release on Tuesday.

On Tuesday evening, meanwhile, a 300-strong demonstration took place in front of the United Nations building in Geneva, protesting the Taliban takeover and calling on Switzerland and the international community to support the Afghan population.

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