Merkel says Germany must focus on its Afghan 'rescue mission'

We are witnessing difficult times, adds Merkel


Reuters August 16, 2021
German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a news conference following talks with state leaders to discuss anti-coronavirus measures at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany August 10, 2021. PHOTO: REUTERS

BERLIN,GERMANY:

Germany's focus must be on its evacuation operation in Afghanistan, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told leaders of her Christian Democrat party on Monday, meeting participants said.

"We are witnessing difficult times," she said. "Now we must focus on the rescue mission."

Earlier today, the Taliban declared the war in Afghanistan over after taking control of the presidential palace in Kabul while Western nations scrambled on Monday to evacuate their citizens amid chaos at the airport as frantic Afghans searched for a way out.

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President Ashraf Ghani fled the country on Aug 15 as fighters from the group entered the capital virtually unopposed, saying he wanted to avoid bloodshed, while hundreds of Afghans desperate to leave flooded Kabul airport.

"Today is a great day for the Afghan people and the mujahideen. They have witnessed the fruits of their efforts and their sacrifices for 20 years," Mohammad Naeem, the spokesman for the Taliban's political office, told Al Jazeera TV.

"Thanks to God, the war is over in the country."

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