Afghan allies must not be left behind following Kabul terror attack

New Zealand must urgently step up plans to evacuate our Afghan allies from Afghanistan following the deadly terror attack at Kabul’s international airport, says Leader of the Opposition Judith Colllins.

“The Defence Force has ended efforts to evacuate New Zealanders and their families from Afghanistan but there are still Afghanis who assisted our personnel who remain in the country.

“The situation in Afghanistan is worsening by the hour and our hearts go out to all those in the country, and United States forces, who have been caught up in this latest disgraceful and cowardly attack.

“We support the decision to end New Zealand’s current operation to evacuate New Zealanders and their families, as well Afghanis employed by the Defence Force, given the very clear danger.

“But an unknown number of our Afghani allies – and possibly New Zealand citizens – have been left behind. Many of these Afghani allies stranded in the country are still awaiting visas to enter New Zealand.

“It is imperative that these visas are processed as the highest priority and the Defence Force develops a plan to get those in danger home to New Zealand as quickly and safely as possible.”