Merkel asks Putin to pressure Taliban on evacuations

Merkel asks Putin to pressure Taliban on evacuations

Moscow: German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday asked Russian President Vladimir Putin for support in rescuing local Afghan forces after the Taliban takeover.

The remarks came during Merkel's trip to Moscow — likely the last in her capacity as chancellor as she is due to step down from politics following Germany's general election in September.

But it also came at a time of immense global strife, just days after the Taliban' seized control of Afghanistan, rising tensions in Ukraine, and with Russian dissidents sitting in jail, DW reported. The two leaders have had different ideas about the Taliban's capture of Kabul. Merkel has described the situation as "bitter, dramatic and terrifying."

Moscow, meanwhile, is seeking to open channels of communication with the Islamist group and appears to be looking to foster some sort of relationship with the Taliban.

Merkel called on Russia to communicate with the Taliban that there was willingness to work with the militant group on humanitarian grounds if they allow the safe evacuation of Western-allied Afghans.

"I have given information that we in Germany consider it most important to evacuate people who have worked for over 20 years for us. Those citizens of Afghanistan should receive a place to stay in Germany," Merkel said.

Putin called on the international community to prevent the "collapse" of Afghanistan.

"The Taliban movement control almost the entire territory of the country," he said. "These are the realities and it is from these realities that we must proceed, preventing the collapse of the Afghan state."

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