The Indonesian embassy in Afghanistan has been completely evacuated, and several diplomats at the Indonesian mission in Pakistan have been designated to take over its duties, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said on Saturday.
Earlier in the day, an Indonesian air force Boeing-737 arrived from Kabul at the Halim airbase in the suburbs of Jakarta with evacuated diplomats and their families, as well as other Indonesian citizens aboard, Kompas TV reported.
The plane reportedly carried 26 Indonesian citizens, five Filipino and two Afghan nationals. Marsudi attended the welcoming ceremony.
“Initially, the evacuation of Indonesian citizens from Afghanistan was to be carried out by a civilian plane, however, due to the unstable situation at the Kabul airport, it was decided to send an air force transport plane to Kabul,” Marsudi said on air of the broadcaster.
The Indonesian Foreign Ministry originally planned to leave a small group of diplomats in Kabul to continue their work, but due to the “rapid development of the situation” decided to evacuate the diplomatic mission completely and temporarily transfer the functions of the Afghan embassy to a group of diplomats in the Indonesian embassy in Pakistan, the minister noted.
The Indonesian embassy was previously moved from Kabul to Islamabad in 1996, after the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan, and stayed in Pakistan until 2004. In 2006, the Indonesian ambassador returned to Kabul.
On August 15, the Taliban entered Kabul, causing the civilian government to collapse. The development has forced thousands of Afghans to seek escape from the country for fear of reprisals from the militants, adding to the hectic situation at the Kabul airport.