Denmark to evacuate Afghan interpreters, embassy staff in EU first

Denmark to evacuate Afghan interpreters, embassy staff in EU first
Danish lawmakers have agreed 45 Afghan citizens who worked at Denmark's Kabul embassy or as interpreters for its troops will be given residency in the European nation for two years.
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Denmark has reportedly become the first EU member state to make such a move [Getty]

Danish lawmakers have agreed to evacuate 45 Afghan citizens who worked for Denmark's government in Afghanistan and to offer them residency in the European country for two years.

The plan approved on Wednesday applies to people who worked at the Danish Embassy in Kabul and as interpreters for Danish troops. Demark, like other Western nations, recently pulled its remaining troops out of Afghanistan. Denmark opened its embassy in Kabul in 2006.

According to Euronews, Denmark is the first EU member state to make such a move.

Current and former embassy employees from within the past two years are eligible for evacuation along with their spouses and children. The effort to get them out of Afghanistan must begin as soon as possible but be carried out gradually “so that the embassy still can function,” according to a foreign ministry statement.

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“The security situation in Afghanistan is serious. The Taliban are gaining ground and development is accelerating more than many had feared,” the Danish Foreign Affairs Ministry said after the evacuation plan received broad political support.

“We have a common responsibility to help the Afghans who are now threatened due to their connection and contribution to Denmark’s involvement in Afghanistan,” the ministry said.

This comes after Germany and the Netherlands said on Wednesday they have stopped forced repatriations of Afghan migrants because of the deteriorating security in Afghanistan.

Officials had previously said as late as Tuesday that both governments joined their counterparts in Austria, Belgium, Denmark and Greece to write to the EU's executive arm saying they should be allowed to press on with expulsions of Afghan migrants if their asylum bids fail.