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Statement on Afghanistan (16 August 2021)

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News and Press Release
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Joint media release with:
The Hon. Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister
The Hon. Peter Dutton MP, Minister for Defence

The situation on the ground in Kabul, as in the rest of Afghanistan, is evolving rapidly.

As in any crisis situation, the Australian Government’s priority is to ensure the safety of its citizens. We have over 130 Australians in Afghanistan, working in the UN, NGOs, and elsewhere, and we are working to bring them and their families home.

We are also assisting those who have been granted humanitarian visas, and others who are in the process of applying for protection.

We are closely connected to the US, UK, Canada, and other allies and partners.

As a partner committed for many years to helping Afghanistan build its future, we are deeply concerned at the potential for further loss of life and suffering.

The Taliban must cease all violence against civilians, and adhere to international humanitarian law and the human rights all Afghans are entitled to expect, in particular women and girls. The Taliban will be held fully accountable for any killing or other mistreatment of Afghan military and other security forces who have surrendered or been captured. Afghan Government officials and elected political leaders are fully entitled to be treated with safety, respect and dignity.

The Taliban’s leadership is responsible and accountable for the conduct of its forces.

Those preparing to leave the country must be able to do so without threat or hinderance. We will continue to work with key partners in the days ahead to enable this safe passage.

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