- Title: Uzbekistan ready to help Germany with Afghanistan evacuations, minister says
- Date: 30th August 2021
- Summary: TASHKENT, UZBEKISTAN (AUGUST 30, 2021) (CORONA POOL) VARIOUS OF MAAS WALKING OVER TO GIVE STATEMENT WHITE FLASH (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER, HEIKO MAAS, SAYING: "There are efforts in progress, As I have been told, to find a way to get all of Afghanistan's neighbours at one table to find a common point of view, but also to find a common plan as to how to deal with the situation. There will also be international efforts to get all the important players at one table. And it will be important to get Russia and China to the table. The Security Council is currently in talks to pass a resolution and there we will also get an idea of what support we can expect from Russia and China." WHITE FLASH (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER, HEIKO MAAS, SAYING: "Exactly as was the case with the military evacuation, Uzbekistan has said it is prepared to help us with this group of people, we have not made any requests for help beyond this. For us it is just about this group of people and in this case Uzbekistan has been very very helpful: with the military evacuation, by allowing us to use all their facilities at Tashkent airport. If the airport in Kabul becomes operational again then I think then we will be bale to get a rapid response, based on what we have set up now." WHITE FLASH (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER, HEIKO MAAS, SAYING: "Regarding the overland route it is much much more difficult and we continue to hold talks about the details, especially how to create the prerequisite conditions for what happens if German citizens make it to the Uzbekistan border and how they can be received and delivered to the German embassy and then eventually flown out. These are very complicated questions and it is very complicated and we also need some kind of agreement with the Afghan side, with the Taliban about people using the land route and we have to get that going and that is why some of my colleagues will be staying here to work this out with our Uzbekistan colleagues." WHITE FLASH (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER, HEIKO MAAS, SAYING: "There is no timeframe for this on the horizon. It will take weeks and months and will also be dependent on developments in Afghanistan but we need to find agreements as quickly as we can with neighbouring countries, but also with the Taliban and other international partners about getting the international airport open again to even make any of these routes possible." WHITE FLASH MAAS LEAVING
- Embargoed: 13th September 2021 08:46
- Keywords: Afghan refugees Afghanistan German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas Kabul Tashkent evacuees
- Location: TASHKENT, UZBEKISTAN
- City: TASHKENT, UZBEKISTAN
- Country: Germany
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Europe,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA002ESH2FK7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS WHITE FLASHES
Uzbekistan is willing to open its borders to people fleeing from Taliban rule in Afghanistan who are on a German list of those at-risk in the country and need to be evacuated, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told journalists on Monday (August 30).
Germany has identified tens of thousands more people who need to be evacuated from Afghanistan, including German citizens, local Afghan staff and at-risk groups such as human rights activists and journalists.
Maas is on a trip to Turkey, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Pakistan and Qatar, among other to find ways to evacuate these people, either by plane if Kabul airport can be kept open after NATO withdraws or overland to neighbouring countries.
"Uzbekistan is prepared to help us with this group of people," Maas said.
Maas also said German diplomats would be staying in Tashkent to handle negotiations with Afghanistan, with the help of Uzbekistan diplomats.
The German foreign minister would not be drawn on a timeframe for further evacuations, saying it would 'take weeks and months' and was very 'complicated.'
Efforts are underway to get all neighbouring countries together for talks and to pursue the options of possible overland routes for evacuees.
Maas said potential routes could not be discussed for security reasons.
(production: Tanya Wood, Andreas Rinke)
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