Indonesia moves Afghan diplomatic mission to Pakistan, evacuates dozens

JAKARTA (REUTERS) – Indonesia has moved its Afghanistan diplomatic mission from Kabul to Pakistan, its foreign minister said on Saturday (Aug 21), after its air force evacuated dozens in the wake of the Taleban’s seizure of power.

“Temporarily, the diplomatic mission in Kabul will be done from Islamabad,” Foreign Minister 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 in recent days, with thousands of desperate Afghans trying to flee as they clutched papers, children and belongings. People from other countries are also seeking to leave after troops from the the United States and other countries withdrew.

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

Ms Retno called for “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 its nationals, including embassy staff and children, took longer than anticipated because of the situation at Kabul airport, she said.

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

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