Indonesia moves Afghan diplomatic mission to Pakistan, evacuates dozens

·2 min read
Indonesia evacuates citizens from Afghanistan

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Indonesia has moved its Afghanistan diplomatic mission from Kabul to Pakistan, its foreign minister said on Saturday, after its air force evacuated dozens in the wake of the Taliban's seizure of power.

"Temporarily, the diplomatic mission in Kabul will be done from Islamabad," Retno Marsudi said in televised remarks at the Halim military airport in Jakarta.

The initial plan had been to "continue our diplomatic mission in Kabul with a small team" but changed due to a "new development", which she did not specify. She did not take questions.

The Kabul airport has been the site of chaos https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/nato-pledges-speed-evacuations-afghanistan-criticism-mounts-2021-08-20 in recent days, with thousands of desperate Afghans trying to flee as they clutched papers, children and belongings, as people from other countries also sought to leave after U.S. and other foreign troops withdrew.

At least 12 people have been killed since the Islamist insurgents took the capital on Sunday, NATO and Taliban officials said.

Retno called for a "an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned inclusive political process" that will bring peace and stability in the country, and for women's rights to be upheld.

Four Indonesian diplomats in the Pakistan-based mission will assess the situation in Afghanistan daily to determine next steps, she said.

An operation for Indonesia, the world's biggest Muslim-majority country, to fly home https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/indonesia-air-force-sends-plane-repatriate-citizens-afghanistan-2021-08-20 26 of its nationals, including embassy staff and children, took longer than anticipated due to the situation at the Kabul airport, she said.

Indonesia also picked up five Filipinos at the request of their government and two Afghan nationals, Retno said.

(Reporting by Gayatri Suroyo; Editing by William Mallard)

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