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Ministry unsure if two Afghan evacuees have reached Europe

A Lufthansa plane flying over Tallinn.
A Lufthansa plane flying over Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Despite the news that two more Afghans had been helped to leave Afghanistan on Thursday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs later said it had not received confirmation they had arrived in Europe.

On Thursday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Eva-Maria Liimets (Center) announced at the government's press conference that 15 people had been evacuated from Afghanistan. But she then specified that information about two of the people leaving Afghanistan could not be confirmed.

She said: "Currently, we can confirm that 13 people have been evacuated from Kabul airport, which is the same number as on Tuesday. The escape of these two other people cannot be confirmed until they have reached a European capital," Liimets said.

On Tuesday it was reported that 13 Afghans, three families with children, were on their way to Estonia. The first six arrived on Wednesday evening.

Yesterday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said three more people had approached Estonia but it was not known if or when they could leave due to the tense situation at Kabul Airport. 

ERR's Estonian portal said two of the three people have already been flown to a safe third country. They are single people and are not traveling with family members.

Estonia has agreed to accept 30 Afghans, 20 people who assisted with Estonia's humanitarian projects in Afghanistan and their families and 10 people who cooperated with NATO and the European Union and their families.

It is like the 10 spaces for EU or NATO workers will be given to two families of five, the Ministry of Interior said on Wednesday.

So far, Estonia has been aided by France and Poland in helping people leave Afghanistan. Estonia was part of the allied mission in Afghanistan for 18 years. 

At the press conference, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said several more families are about to arrive in Estonia from Afghanistan shortly.

Editor's note: This article was updated to add quotes from Minister of Foreign Affairs Eva-Maria Liimets


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Editor: Helen Wright

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