As a direct neighboring country, Pakistan takes in thousands of refugees from Afghanistan. For this, Foreign Minister Baerbock thanks her Pakistani counterpart. The Islamic Republic also plays a major role in the departure of Afghan local Bundeswehr personnel.
Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock met with her Pakistani counterpart Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in Islamabad this morning to discuss the situation in Afghanistan after the Taliban took power last year and the care for Afghan refugees in Pakistan. At a joint press conference with Zardari, Baerbock praised Pakistan's role in taking in people fleeing Afghanistan. The people of Pakistan have shown a "big heart" and are shouldering "an enormous task".
Baerbock said that Pakistan has been Germany's "closest partner" when it comes to the departure of Afghan local Bundeswehr personnel and other German institutions. The country is the most important hub in the Federal Government's efforts to bring former local Bundeswehr personnel and those in special need of protection, as well as their family members, from Afghanistan to Germany.
Around noon, Baerbock found out about a positive corona test. She then canceled further appointments in Pakistan. She is scheduled to fly back to Germany on Wednesday.
According to information from the federal government, a good two-thirds of the people who have received an acceptance letter have also been able to leave the country. About 10,000 are still waiting. In the case of local staff, the ratio of entries that have already been made to commitments for admission is a good 70 percent, and for people at risk it is around 50 percent, it said. The pace of entries has increased significantly in the current year, it said.
Since January alone, a good 12,000 people have entered Germany, and in 2021 there were around 7,000. A total of almost 19,000 visas were issued, almost 14,700 of them by the German embassy in Islamabad. More than 14,000 people traveled to Germany via Islamabad on more than 70 charter flights.
At peak times, charter flights took off to Germany five times a week, each with 200 to 250 people in need of protection. Baerbock sharply criticized the Taliban government in Afghanistan. The Islamists led the country "in decline," she said. The victims are mostly women and girls. "We will not forget the people of Afghanistan and will not let them down," assured Baerbock.
Baerbock sharply criticized the Taliban government in Afghanistan. The Islamists led the country "in decline," she said. The victims are mostly women and girls. "We will not forget the people of Afghanistan and will not let them down," assured Baerbock. As part of her two-day visit to Pakistan, Baerbock also wanted to meet Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. However, after a positive rapid corona test, she had to cancel her planned four-day trip to Pakistan, Greece and Turkey. You will return to Berlin from Pakistan on Wednesday.