Australia working to evacuate ‘several hundred more’ locally engaged staff
Australiaâ€™s foreign minister, Marise Payne, has confirmed that Australia is still working to evacuate â€œseveral hundred moreâ€ locally engaged staff, Australian citizens, permanent residents and their families from Afghanistan.
Some 1,300 have been brought to Australia since 2013 including 400 since April – but the Australian government has been criticised for being too slow to help the rest.
Payne said Australia is working with the US, which is trying to secure Kabulâ€™s airport, and the first Australian Defence Force flight is en route. But, asked if everyone will make it out, Payne replied that it is an â€œextraordinarily difficult situationâ€ due to â€œsecurity issues and the lack of arrangements on the groundâ€.
Regarding the 4,200 Afghans in Australia on temporary visas and 53 in immigration detention, Payne told ABCâ€™s AM:
â€œAll the Afghans in Australia on temporary visas will be supported by the Australian government and no Afghan visa-holder will be asked to return to Afghanistan at this stage. And that is something weâ€™ve discussed as a government.â€
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