Plane from Kabul with 157 people on board lands at Oslo Airport

Smartwings planePhoto: Ole Berg-Rusten / NTB

A plane from Kabul with 157 people on board landed at Oslo Airport on Tuesday morning. In total, Norway has so far evacuated 374 people from Afghanistan.

Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide (H) told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) that Norway would continue the evacuation as long as the airport outside Kabul is open. 

“However, I would like to emphasize again that this is a very demanding job in a chaotic and at times dangerous situation, and there is no guarantee that we will be able to help all Norwegian citizens who want assistance in this round,” Søreide stated.

No overview

The evacuees have arrived in Norway on seven flights. Employees at the embassy and the local staff, as well as their families, are among those who have been evacuated.

“We are very relieved and happy about that – because they are in a vulnerable situation,” Søreide said.

She has no total overview of how many people should are yet to be evacuated. But the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ 24-hour operational center in Oslo is in contact with everyone who is at the airport or nearby, and it works to assist these people with departure opportunities and advise them on how to behave outside the airport.

Staff at the airport

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has five employees at the airport in Kabul who have now replaced Ambassador Ole Andreas Lindemann.

“We work closely with the Armed Forces, the police, and the immigration and health authorities on everything from ID checks to reception when travelers from Kabul come to Norway. We also have a good collaboration with the Georgian authorities who assist us when our planes land in Tbilisi,” Søreide said.

She added that Norway and several other NATO allies asked the United States to continue the operation so that there is an opportunity to evacuate as many people as possible.

“We do not know how long the airport will be open and how long evacuation will be possible. The time window could be short.” 

“We are still very concerned about the situation around the airport, which is chaotic and dangerous,” she said, once again asking Norwegian citizens and people with a residence permit to register at and contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs if they want assistance.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews

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