Kuwait approves passage of 5,000 Afghans headed to US

Kuwait approves passage of 5,000 Afghans headed to US
2 min read
23 August, 2021
Kuwait has joined its Gulf state neighbours in assisting the US as it evacuates American and Afghan citizens from Kabul.
Hundreds of Afghans and foreigners have tried in the last week to flee Afghanistan through Kabul airport [Getty]

Kuwait has approved the passage of 5,000 Afghan evacuees who will be resettled to the US, its foreign ministry said on Sunday.

The move, ordered by Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, was "in appreciation of the strategic ties between Kuwait and the US", Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported.

According to a ministerial statement, the decision also aims to "enhance the existing cooperation" and was taken in recognition of the "importance of securing safe passage for diplomats and foreign nationals".  

Thousands of Afghans and foreigners have tried to flee Afghanistan since the Taliban seized Kabul in its quick capture of the country.

Talks of evacuating those who have worked with Western governments predated the capture of the Afghan capital.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken brought up the subject of relocating Afghan interpreters during meetings held in Kuwait last month.

Afghans who worked with NATO forces fear reprisals from the Taliban, who seized the capital Kabul and took control of most of the country during a swift takeover of the country.

Washington has organised dozens of flights to evacuate thousands of US citizens and of Afghans who helped US-led forces in the past two decades.

The UAE, Qatar, and Bahrain have also allowed evacuees from Kabul to transit through their airports.

The UAE has so far facilitated the evacuation of 8,500 people from Afghanistan on its aircraft and through its airports. It also has agreed to host 5,000 Afghan nationals for 10 days at the request of the US, the Gulf state's foreign ministry said on Friday.

A Qatari official told Reuters that Doha was "continuing our efforts to evacuate people from Afghanistan. Additional flights are scheduled during the upcoming days".

Bahrain will allow planes carrying evacuees to stop over in the kingdom as part of efforts to assist rescue operations in Afghanistan, the Bahraini foreign ministry said in a statement on Friday.