German minister: Uzbekistan to aid Germany with Afghanistan evacuations

Uzbekistan is ready to open its borders to people fleeing Taliban-ruled Afghanistan who are eligible to go to Germany, German foreign minister Heiko Mass confirmed during a visit in Tashkent on Monday.

“Uzbekistan is prepared to help us with this group of people,” Maas told journalists, according to Deutchlandfunk.

Germany has found thousands of people who need to get out of Afghanistan, including people with German citizenship, Afghan staff and groups especially in danger from the Taliban such as journalists and human rights activists. They can fly out of the country if Kabul airport can stay open once NATO forces leave, or they can cross borders over land to neighboring countries.

Mass is on an official four-day tour of the Middle East and Central Asia, visiting Turkey, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan and Qatar with the aim of preventing “the collapse in Afghanistan from destabilizing the entire region”, he said.

Germany is set to assist efforts in operating Kabul airport once NATO leaves, Maas informed Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Sunday.

Before his trip to Turkey on August 29, Maas guaranteed economic and humanitarian help to countries sharing land borders with Afghanistan to ensure the region is not destabilized following the Taliban takeover.

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