The Canadian government has decided to suspend its diplomatic operations at its embassy in Afghanistan, as the security situation poses serious challenges.
Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marco E. L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, and Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, today issued the following statement:
“The situation in Afghanistan is rapidly evolving and poses serious challenges to our ability to ensure the safety and security of our mission.
“After consulting with Canada’s Ambassador to Afghanistan, the decision was made to temporarily suspend our diplomatic operations in Kabul.
“As always, our priority in these situations is ensuring the safety and security of Canadian personnel. They are now safely on their way back to Canada.
“The Canadian embassy will resume its operations as soon as the security situation in Afghanistan allows us to guarantee appropriate service and adequate security for our staff.
“Our ongoing work to bring Afghans to safety in Canada under the Special Immigration Measures will continue and will remain a top priority. We will continue to work in close coordination on this commitment.
“The Government of Canada, including the Canadian Armed Forces, is working closely with allies, including the United States, to ensure processing capacity for the ongoing Special Immigration Measures program. Applications continue to be processed, including for those who can safely leave Afghanistan. They will be able to come to Canada as soon as their applications are approved. We are urgently bringing more Afghans to safety in Canada and will continue to support them through this crisis.
“The Afghan people have put their lives at great risk in the pursuit of democracy, human rights, education, health, and security over the past 20 years.
“As we watch the situation unfold, our thoughts also turn to the sacrifices Canadians, including our armed forces, diplomats, and other civilians, have made for the people of Afghanistan over so many years.
“Canada firmly condemns the escalating violence and calls for a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire. We call for an end to the injustices faced by Afghans, especially women, girls, and ethnic minorities, in areas controlled by the Taliban.
“Canada remains committed to Afghanistan and the Afghan people and we will continue to do all that we can to support them.
“Canadians should continue to avoid all travel to Afghanistan. Those currently in Afghanistan should leave immediately while commercial flights are available.”