A Hungarian evacuation operation is being initiated to bring the remaining Hungarians and Afghans who aided Hungary out of Kabul, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Levente Magyar announced. Despite previously announcing that there are no Hungarians in Afghanistan, the Hungarian Foreign Ministry aims to bring home a small group who are known to be in the Taliban-overrun capital.
It has now been revealed that there are more than 26 Hungarians awaiting evacuation at Kabul airport.
Unspecified Number of Hungarians Still in Afghanistan
In a press briefing, Levente Magyar, Deputy Minister of Foreign affairs and Trade, announced that the 26 Hungarian security contractors of the Dutch embassy in Afghanistan did not ask for Hungary’s aid in their evacuation at first, but added that the government did offer to help them get out. He said that they can escape the country sooner if they board the flight of a NATO ally rather than awaiting the Hungarian rescue mission.
It is thanks to our military allies that the return of the 26 Hungarian citizens is ensured. They were not under a contractual relationship with the Hungarian government, but regardless of that they were in Afghanistan.”
The Hungarian rescue mission is directed towards an unspecified number of Hungarians who are still awaiting evacuation. Magyar did not provide a specific number but confirmed that there are less than 26.
Rescue Mission Targets Hungarians and Allies
Regarding locals, Magyar stated that the Afghans who participated in the Hungarian mission in Afghanistan “as the allies of Hungarian soldiers,” will, along with their families, be eligible for evacuation through the Hungarian evacuation mission.
The evacuation of Kabul is proving quite chaotic. On Tuesday evening a Dutch plane sent to evacuate civilians was forced to leave
without any passengers. Dutch Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag explained that there was not enough time, and that despite countless families waiting to board, the American soldiers keeping order at the airport did not let anyone through the gate.
This was not the first plane to leave with little to no passengers. The first German plane to land with the intention of carrying home German-Afghan dual nationals and their allies only ended up leaving with seven passengers. German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer explained that, along with having little time and the situation being completely chaotic, “admission of people from the civilian part of the airport was not made possible by the partners exercising security responsibility at the airport.”
Hungary will Not Open its Borders to Afghanistan
Asked about Hungary’s views on the Taliban, Magyar said that “there are those who consider the Taliban terrorists, there are those who do not.”
The minister also described the entire situation as a major blow to the West’s prestige, adding that there will be millions of people leaving Afghanistan, but that Hungary will not be opening its southern border.
Levente Magyar is currently substituting in for Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó, who is on vacation. Magyar said he does not know anything about the Foreign Minister’s whereabouts and that he does not know how long Szijjártó will be on vacation for.
In the featured photo, Parliamentary state secretary Levente Magyar arrives at his press briefing on the developments of the Afghanistan situation. Featured photo by Zoltán Máthé/MTI