Foreign minister Sigrid Kaag to fly to Afghanistan region Tuesday evening

In response to recent events in Afghanistan, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sigrid Kaag will depart on a trip to the region this evening. She will first visit Qatar, followed by Pakistan and Turkey, meeting with her counterparts in each country. Among the topics of discussion will be the options for getting Dutch nationals and Afghans who have worked for the Netherlands safely out of Afghanistan.

Minister Kaag op het Binnenhof, augustus 2021.
Minister Kaag van Buitenlandse Zaken.

Ms Kaag will arrive in Doha, Qatar, on 1 September. From there she will travel on to Islamabad, Pakistan, and on 2 September to Ankara, Turkey. The main reason for the visits is to discuss what will be needed in order to bring to the Netherlands the Dutch nationals and eligible Afghans who have not yet been evacuated.

Safe departure routes

Against this backdrop, Ms Kaag will talk to her counterparts about the recent developments, the scope for keeping borders and Kabul airport open, the importance of safe departure routes and possible support to that end from these three countries. The ministers will also discuss future efforts relating to Afghanistan and the importance of security and stability, both in Afghanistan itself and in the wider region. An inclusive political agreement remains the best opportunity to achieve a lasting solution.

During the trip, the minister will also be drawing attention to the need for support for the Afghan people, with a specific focus on women and girls, humanitarian aid and the migration situation in the region.

EU meeting

On Thursday, after her visit to the region, the minister will travel onward to Slovenia for an extraordinary meeting of EU foreign ministers on the situation in Afghanistan. The departure of Allied forces from Kabul means close cooperation between the EU partners will remain crucial in order to bring EU citizens and at-risk Afghans to safety and to support the Afghan people.