Macron Vows 'Robust' EU Response to Possible 'Uncontrolled Migration Flows' From Afghanistan
10:41 GMT 17.08.2021 (Updated: 10:43 GMT 17.08.2021)
© AFP 2021 / CHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULTAn image shot in Paris off a television screen shows French President Emmanuel Macron speaking on the situation in Afghanistan, from the Fort de Bregancon presidential summer residence at Bormes-les-Mimosas, southeastern France on August 16, 2021
Late last week, France's Defence Minister Florence Parly said that Paris would begin relocating French nationals and Afghan allies from Kabul to a base in the United Arab Emirates as of Monday.
French President Emmanuel Macron has pledged a "robust, coordinated, and united" response by Europe to keep Afghan migrants from heading to western nations, also arguing that Afghanistan may turn into a "sanctuary" for terrorists.
In a televised address to the nation on Monday, Macron warned of far-reaching consequences from the Taliban's takeover Afghanistan for other countries, who should work together to resolve regional issues.
"This is key for international security and peace. We will do everything for Russia, the United States, and Europe to cooperate efficiently as our interests are the same", he said, also urging the UN Security Council to have a "reasonable and unified" response to the possible regional crisis.
Macron cautioned that "destabilisation in Afghanistan threatens the emergence of uncontrolled migration flows to Europe", pledging that France, along with Germany and other EU members would be cracking down on 'illegal people smuggling rings'".
He added that about 800 Afghans, including translators and cooks who worked for France, had already been evacuated to his country. Macron said the French government is ready to help Afghan rights activists and journalists "as it is the honour of France to be side-by-side with those who share our values".
15 August, 22:12 GMT
The address followed France's Defence Minister Florence Parly stating late last week that Monday will see the beginning of the evacuation of French citizens and Afghans who worked with Paris from Kabul.
She added that they will be relocated to a French base in the United Arab Emirates, which she said "will serve as a military hub to ensure the back and forth between Abu Dhabi and Kabul and then repatriation in France".
The priority is to "evacuate (Afghan) personnel who rendered eminent service to our country by helping us daily, and also doing the maximum to provide protection to figures who defended the rights, human rights, journalists, artists, all those who stood for these values that we continue to defend around the world", Parly stated.
The statement comes amid the ongoing chaos at the Kabul Airport where thousands of desperate Afghans are doing their best to flee their country and where the Taliban is currently calling the shots after seizing the capital Kabul on 15 August.