EVACUATION PENDING

The Department of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and External Trade (MOFAICET) is now waiting for Vanuatu’s Embassy in Brussels to provide an update on the status of the seven Afghanistan nationals who are holders of Vanuatu passports.

According to Director of Foreign Affairs, Yvon Basil, these seven people comprises a couple and their five children.

Last week, the government requested its development partners to assist in the evacuation of these nationals. This came about following a Council of Ministers (COM) decision.

Director Basil said they submitted formal requests to Vanuatu’s development partners that have a presence in Kabul, Afghanistan. These include the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia.

“They have acknowledged our requests and will collaborate with our Mission in Brussels to address the evacuation issue,” he continued.

The COM direction was to evacuate the nationals out from Afghanistan before August 31, which was yesterday.

August 31 was also the deadline for United States’ complete withdrawal from Afghanistan.

But the Foreign Affairs Director said a day after the COM decision, there had been a suicide attack at Kabul Airport. The evacuation process was distrupted and time was running out for those wanting to leave Afghanistan.

There are 127 Afghan nationals who were granted Vanuatu citizenship. So far, only the family of seven have sought assistance from the Embassy in Europe.

The request for assistance from Vanuatu authorities specifically targets this family.

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