Berlin: The German government has promised safe passage to Germany for all Afghan staff that worked for its embassy in Kabul before the Taliban returned to power in Afghanistan last year.
“We will not leave them behind,” Interior Minister Nancy Faeser told Bild am Sonntag newspaper in an interview released on Sunday.
Faeser added that she was working with Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock to create a programme with “clear criteria” for admission to Germany.
Several thousand people are still waiting to leave Afghanistan, dpa news agency reported quoting information from the government.
Faeser put the total number of Afghan staff and their family members admitted to Germany so far at 15,759.
According to figures from last week, Germany has assured a total of 23,614 local staff and family members admission since the withdrawal of NATO troops last summer.
The minister also said there would be no so-called repatriations to Afghanistan in the foreseeable future.
“Deportations to Afghanistan are currently on hold – and it will certainly have to stay that way in view of the current situation there,” she said.
The local staff used to work, for example, as civilian fixers or interpreters for the Bundeswehr.
The Taliban seized back power in Kabul on August 15, 2021, following NATO’s withdrawal from the country.