Canada has pledged to resettle more than 20,000 Afghan citizens from groups it considers likely targets of the Taliban, including female leaders, law workers and LGBTQ individuals, as many countries make efforts to evacuate their nationals and help Afghans flee.
Canadian immigration minister Marco Mendicino announced the resettlement process at a news conference on Friday, adding that Canada “could not stand idly by” as the Taliban seized control of cities and provinces. The rapid advance has led to a wave of refugees and has fueled fear among those who have worked with Western governments or organizations, or with the current authorities.
Since the end of May, some 250,000 Afghans have been forced to flee their homes, most of them women and children United Nations Refugee Agency.
Several European countries announced Friday that they are withdrawing embassy employees and evacuating Afghan nationals who have worked for them. Most of them repeated the call to their nationals to leave the country urgently.
Norway and Denmark announced they would temporarily close their embassies, and Spain said it would repatriate its diplomatic staff and evacuate Afghan translators “as soon as possible”.
Britain has said it will send 600 troops to help evacuate its citizens, and Denmark is also offering evacuation to all Afghans who have worked for its embassy or armed forces in the past two years.
Canada has not provided a timeline for its resettlement program. It’s Friday continued to repatriate those who had worked with his diplomats and military forces in Afghanistan, according to government officials.
“We are deeply indebted to them and we will continue our efforts to bring them to safety,” said the country’s foreign minister, Marc Garneau.