France has carried out an evacuation mission in Afghanistan, taking 258 Afghans as well as 11 French, some 60 Dutch nationals and an unspecified number of people linked to them out of the country, a French foreign ministry spokeswoman said on Friday.
The operation was organised with help from Qatar, a ministry statement said.
Evacuees included Afghans who were at risk, such as journalists and people with links to France, including civilian workers employed by the French army.
Since September 10, at least 110 French people and 396 Afghans have been evacuated from Afghanistan on 10 flights organised with the help of Qatar, the statement added.
France and Qatar jointly operated a humanitarian mission on Thursday, delivering medical equipment, food and winter supplies to international organisations operating in the country with a Qatari military plane, the French foreign ministry spokeswoman said.
French President Emmanuel Macron, on a visit to the Gulf, expressed praised Qatar on Saturday for helping to organise the latest evacuation to France of more than 250 threatened Afghans.
“I thank Qatar for the role it has played since the start of the crisis, and which permitted the organisation of several evacuations,” Macron said before heading to Saudi Arabia for the final leg of his two-day Gulf tour.
Macron met on Friday evening with Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.
Qatar has played a significant role both in diplomacy and evacuations at the end of a 20-year war in Afghanistan by Western nations.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) this week described an “alarming” socioeconomic outlook for Afghanistan for the next 13 months.
Afghanistan is struggling with a sharp drop in international development aid after the Taliban seized power in August, and the UNDP has projected that poverty may become nearly universal by mid-2022.