BERLIN (AA) - Germany will step up efforts to evacuate more than 15,000 former local employees, NGO staff, and human rights activists from Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Thursday.
“As the foreign minister of the Federal Republic of Germany, I would like to underline that they have not been forgotten. We are working hard to get everyone to safety,” Baerbock told a news conference in Berlin.
She said Germany’s new government will reduce bureaucratic hurdles, simplify visa procedures, and intensify talks with neighboring countries to facilitate the evacuation of former local employees, their family members, and people at heightened risk of persecution.
Baerbock also promised €600 million ($678.8 million) in humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, and underlined that the aid will not flow through the Taliban, but through UN organizations working in the country.
Germany's top diplomat ruled out granting diplomatic recognition to the Taliban government.