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Sunday, September 26, 2021

Canada suspends operations at embassy in Afghanistan, citing safety concerns

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OTTAWA — Canada is shutting down its embassy in Kabul and suspending diplomatic operations in Afghanistan as the Taliban enter the capital.

The government says the current situation in the country poses “serious challenges” to its ability to ensure safety and security at the embassy

A joint statement from the federal ministers of foreign affairs, immigration and defence says safety and security of Canadian personnel is a top priority, adding that staff are “safely on their way back to Canada.”

The ministers say the suspension is temporary and its embassy will resume operations in Kabul when it’s safe to do so.

The Taliban have seized nearly all of Afghanistan in just over a week and breached the capital on Sunday, seeking the surrender of the government as residents and foreigners rush to leave the country.

Canada has committed to taking in 20,000 refugees from the country and Afghans who have assisted Canada over the years.

The government is urging Canadians currently in the country to leave immediately.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 15, 2021.

– With files from The Associated Press.

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