France ends Kabul evacuation operation Friday: PM

France ends Kabul evacuation operation Friday: PM

PARIS: France ends its operation to completely evacuate French nationals and Afghans at risk from Taliban-controlled Kabul, Prime Minister, by Friday night Jean Castex said.
After this date, “it will not be possible to carry out evacuations from Kabul airport,” Castex told RTL radio on Thursday.
A source close to the government added that the date had been imposed on France by the plan of the United States, which provides security at the airport, must be withdrawn by August 31.
The source added that France would do everything it could to keep its operation going for as many hours as possible, saying the evacuation of civilians would end just hours before the formal end of the mission, when the military and remaining embassy services would leave.
The French Foreign Ministry has indicated that the final evacuations of civilians from Kabul through France will take place late Thursday or Friday morning.
Castex said about 2,500 people have been evacuated by France since the capture of Kabul by the Taliban on August 15. During the operation, the evacuees were taken by military aircraft to a French base in the United Arab Emirates and then to France.
He said this number included French citizens, but also “Afghans who have contributed in one way or another to their support of the (French) military, as well as their families, artists and journalists.”
His comments came as Britain warned of an imminent risk of a terror attack at the airport, while the Netherlands also said it was halting evacuation flights.

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