Three Swiss nationals have been successfully evacuated from the fallen Afghan capital Kabul and efforts are under way to extract their Afghan colleagues, Switzerland’s foreign minister said Monday.
“We were able to get our three employees from the SDC (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation) office in Kabul out of the country with the help of our partners,” Ignazio Cassis said in a tweet.
Wir konnten unsere drei Mitarbeitenden des DEZA-Büros in Kabul mit Hilfe unserer Partner ausser Land bringen. Sie sind unterwegs in die Schweiz. Arbeiten mit Hochdruck daran, unter schwierigsten Umständen das Lokalpersonal zu evakuieren.
— Ignazio Cassis (@ignaziocassis) August 16, 2021
“They are on their way to Switzerland.”
The wealthy Alpine nation has no embassy in Afghanistan, but the foreign ministry’s international development arm, the SDC, has long been present in Kabul.
Just days before the Afghan capital fell to the Taliban, Bern announced Friday it would repatriate the three remaining Swiss SDC employees, and said some 40 local employees of the agency and their families were being offered a humanitarian visa to come to Switzerland.
“We are working flat out to evacuate the local staff under the most difficult circumstances,” Cassis tweeted Monday.