Multiple nations worldwide react to the Taliban invasion of the country as the US sends an additional 1,000 soldiers to evacuate personnel.

Soldiers attached to the 101st Resolute Support Sustainment Brigade, Iowa National Guard and 10th Mountain, 2-14 Infantry Battalion, load onto a Chinook helicopter to head out on a mission in Afghanistan, January 15, 2019. 1st Lt. Verniccia Ford/U.S. (photo credit: VERNICCIA FORD/U.S. ARMY/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)
Soldiers attached to the 101st Resolute Support Sustainment Brigade, Iowa National Guard and 10th Mountain, 2-14 Infantry Battalion, load onto a Chinook helicopter to head out on a mission in Afghanistan, January 15, 2019. 1st Lt. Verniccia Ford/U.S.

Taliban fighters completely encircled Kabul on Sunday. Multiple nations worldwide have reacted to the alarming news:

United States

The Pentagon authorized an additional 1,000 troops to help with the evacuation from Kabul, a US official said on Sunday, bringing the total number of troops expected in Afghanistan temporarily to 6,000.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the additional 1,000 troops would come from the 82nd Airborne Division, which had already been on standby.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Sunday that embassy staff in Kabul are leaving the facility and moving to the airport.

US diplomats were being ferried by helicopters to the city’s airport, where US troops are being flown in to provide security amid an exodus of Americans and their local allies and other foreigners in the face of the militants’ lightning advance.

Sources told Reuters that most US staff would be evacuated from Kabul in the coming day or two.

“We’re working to make sure that our personnel are safe and secure. We’re relocating the men and women of our embassy to a location at the airport,” Blinken said.

More US forces had been sent in to get US officials out of the country “in a safe and orderly fashion” while maintaining a “core diplomatic presence,” Blinken added.

The United States is unlikely to change its military strategy in Kabul unless the Taliban impact the evacuation of the embassy.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Afghan forces have simply been unable to defend the country, that it was not in the interests of the United States to remain in Afghanistan.

Blinken said Washington had invested billions of dollars over four US administrations in Afghan government forces, giving them advantages over the Taliban, but they have failed to beat back the Taliban’s advance.

“The fact of the matter is we’ve seen that force has been unable to defend the country,” Blinken said. “And that has happened more quickly than we anticipated.”

Blinken stated that the US told the Taliban that there would be a “swift and decisive response” if it interfered with US personnel.

The US Embassy in Kabul said in a security alert on Sunday that the security situation in the Afghan capital was changing quickly, including at the airport, where there were reports of gunfire as US troops aid an evacuation of most US personnel.

“There are reports of the airport taking fire; therefore we are instructing US citizens to shelter in place,” the embassy said.

The United States’ top focus in Afghanistan should be on safely getting US personnel and Afghans who supported the United States out of the country, US Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Sunday.

Schumer told a press conference that he had talked repeatedly to the Biden administration in the past week about making every effort to get “brave Afghans who helped our soldiers” out of Afghanistan.


NATO is maintaining its diplomatic presence in Kabul and helping to keep the city’s airport running, the military alliance said on Sunday as Taliban insurgents entered the Afghan capital.

“NATO is helping keep Kabul airport open to facilitate and coordinate evacuations,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Twitter.

Stoltenberg said he had discussed the rapidly evolving situation in Afghanistan with Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the foreign ministers of Canada, Denmark and the Netherlands.

Taliban insurgents entered Kabul on Sunday and said they expected to take power within days.

A NATO official told Reuters the alliance was maintaining its diplomatic presence in Kabul. The official did not respond to questions on whether NATO planned to hold a crisis meeting to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.

“NATO is constantly assessing developments in Afghanistan,” the official said, adding that the security of the alliance’s personnel was paramount and NATO would continue to adjust as necessary.

After almost two decades, NATO this summer completed military operations in Afghanistan and withdrew most troops from the country.

The alliance still operates a diplomatic representation in Kabul. A NATO spokesperson on Friday declined to provide details on the representation, citing security concerns, in response to a Reuters request.

Headquartered in Brussels, NATO also serves as a forum to coordinate national measures in Afghanistan, such as the evacuation of citizens that was discussed by NATO ambassadors on Friday.

United Kingdom

Nobody should recognize the Taliban as the government of Afghanistan, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Sunday, adding it was clear that there would be a new administration in the country very shortly.

“We don’t want anybody bilaterally recognizing the Taliban,” he said in an interview clip. “We want a united position amongst all the like-minded as far as we can get one.”
Britain’s parliament will be recalled from its summer recess on Wednesday to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, it posted on Twitter on Sunday.

“The Speaker has granted a request from the Government to recall the House at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday 18 August, in relation to the situation in Afghanistan,” the House of Commons account tweeted.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will also convene an emergency meeting to discuss the latest developments in Afghanistan, his Downing Street office said.

“The prime minister has convened a COBR meeting for later this afternoon to discuss the situation in Afghanistan,” a spokesperson said.

Britain’s foreign minister Dominic Raab on Sunday said he was deeply concerned about the future of Afghanistan and called on the Taliban insurgents to end violence as they entered the capital city Kabul.

“Shared my deep concerns about the future for Afghanistan with FM Qureshi,” Raab wrote on Twitter, referring to Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

“Agreed it is critical that the international community is united in telling the Taliban that the violence must end and human rights must be protected.”

Britain’s ambassador to Afghanistan is still in Kabul and staff are doing all they can to enable Britons who wish to leave the country to do so, the Foreign Office in London said on Sunday, as the Taliban entered the Afghan capital.

“We have reduced our diplomatic presence in response to the situation on the ground, but our Ambassador remains in Kabul and UK Government staff continue to work to provide assistance to British nationals and to our Afghan staff,” a Foreign Office spokesperson said.


The Russian embassy in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul sees no threat from developments in the city and no need to evacuate at the moment, TASS state news agency reported on Sunday.

Russia is ready to cooperate with Afghanistan’s interim government, the Interfax news agency reported on Sunday, citing a spokesman for the Russian embassy in Kabul.

The spokesman for the embassy, which earlier said there was no immediate need to evacuate the Afghan capital, also said Russia was taking part in political contacts in Afghanistan, according to Interfax.

“The situation in Kabul is a bit tense but there is no war in the city,” the Russian embassy told TASS.

The Taliban on Sunday pledged to guarantee safety for the Russian embassy in Kabul.

“We have good relations with Russia and our policy, in general, is to ensure safe conditions for operations of the Russian and other embassies,” TASS quoted a Taliban official as saying.

The Russian foreign ministry said it was watching developments in Afghanistan and was in touch with the embassy, Russian news agencies reported.

Moscow does not yet recognize the Taliban insurgents as Afghanistan’s new lawful authority, RIA state news agency quoted the Russian foreign ministry as saying on Sunday.

The ministry also told RIA that Afghanistan’s President Ashraf Ghani was unlikely to head to Russia after leaving his country.


Canada on Sunday said it was temporarily suspending its diplomatic operations in Kabul and that its personnel were on their way back home, according to a statement, as Taliban insurgents appeared within days of taking over the city.

“The situation in Afghanistan is rapidly evolving and poses serious challenges to our ability to ensure the safety and security of our mission,” Foreign Minister Marc Garneau said in the statement. Canadian personnel “are now safely on their way back to Canada,” he added.


Sweden’s embassy personnel in the Afghan capital Kabul will leave immediately and the evacuation is expected to be completed on Monday, Swedish Foreign Minister Ann Linde said on Sunday.

“All deployed staff will be out by tomorrow,” Linde told a news conference. “The Swedish Migration Agency is working to bring home the locally employed staff.”

Talibant militants waving Taliban flag on the back of a pickup truck drive past a crowded street at Pashtunistan Square area in Jalalabad, Afghanistan (credit: REUTERS)
Talibant militants waving Taliban flag on the back of a pickup truck drive past a crowded street at Pashtunistan Square area in Jalalabad, Afghanistan (credit: REUTERS)


Germany on Sunday shuttered its embassy in Kabul and prepared to send A400M military transport planes to Afghanistan to evacuate as many Germans and local Afghan helpers as possible, after Taliban insurgents entered the Afghan capital.

“We are doing everything to enable our citizens and our former local staff to leave Afghanistan within the next days,” German foreign minister Heiko Maas told journalists on Sunday.

German embassy staff have already been moved to a military part of Kabul airport, Maas said. Core staff will remain there in the coming days to help with further evacuations, he added.

Defense minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said military aircraft would leave German air base Wunstorf on Sunday night and Monday morning to head to Kabul.

According to a person familiar with the matter, the two planes will take evacuated people to Uzbekistan’s capital Tashkent. Maas had said only that they would go to a country neighboring Afghanistan.

From there, the people will be taken to Germany on board civilian charter aircraft, he said.

Germany, the United States, and other international partners have agreed to support each other in their evacuation efforts, he said.

The foreign ministry had said on Friday that fewer than 100 Germans remained in Afghanistan beyond the government officials still working there. It was still unclear on Sunday how many local helpers would be flown out.

“It is our goal to get out as many people as possible as long as the situation on the ground allows it,” Kramp-Karrenbauer said.

A government source spoke of at least 1,000 former Afghan employees, including close family members, but added that this was only a rough estimate.

A support network founded by German troops put the number of those eligible for relocation under government rules at 2,000 people.

United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates foreign ministry on Sunday said it was working on facilitating the evacuation of foreign diplomatic staff from Afghanistan through airports in the Gulf Arab state.

Emirates airline said a flight to Kabul on Sunday was diverted due to the temporary closure of the runway at the airport, while fellow Dubai state-owned carrier flydubai suspended services.

The Emirates Boeing 777-300 flight circled over the Afghanistan capital, aircraft tracking website FlightRadar24 showed, before returning to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

“We are monitoring developments around the situation in Afghanistan and are working closely with all the relevant authorities to ensure the safe operation of our services,” an Emirates spokesperson said.

Flydubai said earlier that a Boeing 737 service to Kabul on Sunday returned to Dubai mid-flight and that the airline had suspended its services to the city until further notice.


Qatar called on Sunday for a peaceful transition of power in Afghanistan that paves the way for a comprehensive political solution that includes all Afghan parties and realizes security and stability.

The Gulf Arab state’s foreign ministry in a statement also stressed the need for an immediate and lasting ceasefire in Afghanistan and to guarantee safety of civilians.


The Italian embassy staff in Kabul will return to Rome on Sunday, the foreign ministry said.

A military aircraft will leave Kabul at 21:30 local time, a spokeswoman said, adding that most of the embassy staff had left the building on Saturday and are currently at the airport.

She declined to say whether the ambassador would be among those leaving on Sunday’s flight and said it was premature to say that Italy had actually closed its embassy.


The Netherlands has moved its embassy in Kabul to a location close to the city’s international airport as The Hague moves quickly to evacuate its remaining Afghan translators and local staff, a spokesman for the foreign ministry said on Sunday.

Also on Sunday, the Dutch defense ministry said it had sent a military plane to Kabul as part of efforts to evacuate remaining personnel. The Dutch government says it will keep its Kabul embassy functions open as long as possible in light of the Taliban’s rapid advances.


France will dispatch two military transport planes to the United Arab Emirates during the night and on Monday for the evacuation of French citizens in Afghanistan, the Armed Forces Ministry said Sunday in a statement.

France is moving its Afghan embassy close to Kabul airport, adding it will remain operational for the evacuation of all French citizens who still might be in the country, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a statement.

“By order of the President of the Republic, the Armed Forces Ministry will deploy in the coming hours military reinforcements and aerial forces to the United Arab Emirates, so that the first evacuations to Abu Dhabi might begin,” Le Drian said.


Nepal calls for evacuation of at least 1,500 Nepalis in Afghanistan
Nepal’s government on Sunday called for the evacuation of an estimated 1,500 Nepalis working as security staff with embassies and with international aid groups in Afghanistan.

“We have formally written to embassies requesting them for the evacuation,” Nepal Foreign Ministry spokesperson Sewa Lamsal told Reuters in Kathmandu.

Lamsal said the government has also set up a panel to determine the exact number of Nepalis working in Kabul and elsewhere in Afghanistan.

“The government will make arrangements for their evacuation also,” she said.

Nepal does not have a diplomatic presence in Afghanistan but thousands of Nepali men work as security guards in diplomatic districts of the country.

Estonia, Norway

Estonia and Norway have requested the 15-member United Nations Security Council meeting on Afghanistan as soon as possible, diplomats said.

Albania, Kosovo

Albania and Kosovo have accepted a US request to temporarily take in Afghan refugees seeking visas to enter the United States, the country two countries said on Sunday.

In Tirana, Prime Minister Edi Rama Rama said US President Joe Biden’s administration had asked fellow NATO member Albania to assess whether it could serve as a transit country for a number of Afghan refugees whose final destination is the United States.

“We will not say ‘No’, not just because our great allies ask us to, but because we are Albania,” Rama said on Facebook.

Sources had told Reuters that Biden’s administration had held discussions with such countries as Kosovo and Albania about protecting US-affiliated Afghans from Taliban reprisals until they completed the process of approval of their US visas.

In Kosovo, President Vjosa Osmani said the government had been in contact with the US authorities about housing Afghan refugees since mid-July.

“Without any hesitation and … conditioning I gave my consent to that humanitarian operation,” Osmani said on her Facebook account.

Osmani said Afghan refugees would be vetted by the US security authorities, and added they would stay in Kosovo until their documentation for US immigration visas was arranged.


Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Sunday that the Turkish embassy in the Afghan capital Kabul would continue its operations.

“We have made necessary preparations for the Turkish citizens who want to leave Afghanistan … Our embassy in Kabul continues its operations,” Cavusoglu said.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has evacuated all members of its diplomatic mission in Kabul, as the Taliban insurgents entered the Afghan capital on Sunday, state news agency SPA said.

“All members of the Kingdom’s embassy in the Afghan capital, Kabul, have been evacuated, and they have arrived home,” it said.

European Union

European Council President Charles Michel said on Sunday the security of European Union staff and citizens was the bloc’s immediate priority, as Taliban insurgents entered the Afghan capital.

“Security of EU citizens, staff and their families is a priority in short term.
Equally clear that many lessons will need to be drawn,” Michel said in a Twitter post.

United Nations

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday urged the Taliban and all other parties to exercise the utmost restraint in order to protect lives and expressed particular concern about the future of women and girls in Afghanistan.

Taliban insurgents entered Kabul and President Ashraf Ghani left Afghanistan on Sunday, bringing the Islamist militants close to taking over the country two decades after they were overthrown by a US-led invasion.

“There continue to be reports of serious human rights abuses and violations in the communities most affected by the fighting,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement, adding that Guterres “is particularly concerned about the future of women and girls, whose hard-won rights must be protected.”

“All abuses must stop. He calls on the Taliban and all other parties to ensure … the rights and freedoms of all people are respected and protected,” Dujarric said.

Under Taliban rule between 1996 and 2001, women could not work, girls were not allowed to attend school and women had to cover their faces and be accompanied by a male relative if they wanted to venture out of their homes.

Guterres will brief the UN Security Council on Monday on Afghanistan. In an Aug. 3 statement, agreed by consensus, the 15 council members “declared that they do not support the restoration of the Islamic Emirate” (Taliban rule).

Afghanistan’s UN ambassador, Ghulam Isaczai, appointed last month, told Reuters on Sunday: “The message I sent to the council today is to do everything to prevent further violence and ensure an orderly transition to a transitional government.”

Guterres warned on Friday that Afghanistan was “spinning out of control” and called on the Taliban to halt their offensive.

The United Nations has about 3,000 national staff and about 300 international staff on the ground in Afghanistan. On Friday, Dujarric said some staff had been relocated to Kabul but that none had been evacuated from the country.

“The United Nations remains determined to contribute to a peaceful settlement, promote the human rights of all Afghans, notably women and girls, and provide life-saving humanitarian assistance and critical support to civilians in need,” Dujarric said on Sunday.

He said the need for assistance is “surging while the operating environment becomes more restricted due to the escalation of the conflict.” Guterres called on all parties to ensure unimpeded humanitarian aid access.

In April, the Taliban stepped up a campaign to defeat the US-backed government as foreign forces withdrew after 20 years of war. US-backed Afghan forces toppled the Taliban from power in late 2001 for refusing to hand over al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.

As reported by The Jerusalem Post