The Justice Minister has said she is looking to expand the system for reuniting Afghan citizens with their relatives in Ireland, while the DFA says that some Irish citizens may not be evacuated by the Taliban’s deadline.
Fine Gael Justice Minister Heather Humphreys has said that her department is receiving a high number of messages from Afghan people based in Ireland about acquiring visas for their family members.
The Taliban has given August 31st as the strict “red line” deadline for Western troop evacuations, and the window is rapidly closing for those who want to exit the country before Taliban rule comes into full effect.
Afghanistan: Taliban say August 31 deadline for troop withdrawals a 'red line' | Euronewshttps://t.co/VQr1gAAO0o
— Ben Scallan 🇮🇪 (@Ben_Scallan) August 25, 2021
“We’re [processing family reunification applications] as quickly as possible,” said Humphreys.
“Again, on the wider scale of things, I am examining other areas where maybe we can expand it somewhere because people are in Afghanistan and maybe their spouse or their parent is here.
“They’re so worried about their family at home, so I am looking at that to see if there’s anything we can do to assist them, because it’s an awful situation for them.”
However, Defence and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney has said that it’s possible not all Irish citizens will be evacuated from Afghanistan by the Taliban’s given deadline.
This week the Department stated that a team of Irish diplomats accompanied by Irish Ranger special forces units had been deployed to the turbulent middle eastern country to help evacuate as many of the 36 stranded Irish citizens as possible from the country on the government jet.
Soldiers from the Irish Army Ranger wing have arrived in Afghanistan to begin evacuating the remaining 36 Irish citizens | @CiaranSunderla1 @_vivclarke & @griffin_caitlin report https://t.co/1z15tYjHfA
— Irish Examiner (@irishexaminer) August 25, 2021
“I don’t want to raise expectations unrealistically, that everybody will get out as a result of this,” said Coveney.
“Even beyond the 31st of this month, into September, we will continue to work with Irish citizens if they’re in Kabul.”
To date ten Irish citizens have been extracted via the Irish embassy in Abu Dhabi.