AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The Dutch government said it expects to carry out its last evacuation flight out of Afghanistan on Thursday, leaving some who are eligible to leave behind, and called on citizens not to go to Kabul airport due to a deteriorating security situation.
“The Netherlands has been informed by the United States that it has to depart today and will most likely perform the last flights later today,” the government said in a letter to parliament.
“This is a painful moment because it means that despite all the great efforts of the past period, people who are eligible for evacuation to the Netherlands will be left behind.”
Dutch evacuees can no longer be assisted in and around the airport due to the security situation and are “strongly recommended not to come to the airport,” it said.
The remaining Dutch embassy staff, military personnel and hundreds of people within the gates of the airport were expected to be taken on last flights out of Afghanistan on Thursday.
Roughly 1,200 people have been evacuated out of Afghanistan on Dutch flights. Hundreds of Dutch citizens remain in the country.
A small number of Dutch troops and a C-130 aircraft will remain near Afghanistan until Aug. 31, the government said.
(Reporting by Anthony Deutsch and Bart Meijer; Editing by John Stonestreet and Ana Nicolaci da Costa)