LONGUEUIL, QUE. — Amid an increasingly volatile situation on the ground in Afghanistan, Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau said Monday that the government is committing to resettle thousands of Afghans “as quickly as possible.”
Speaking at an election stop in Quebec, Trudeau said that as of Monday at least 807 Afghans have been evacuated and 500 have arrived in Canada.
Trudeau said that the government “firmly condemns the escalating violence,” and is working with the U.S., the U.K. and other allies as well as international aid organizations onthe promise to resettle 20,000 Afghans, pointing to the work underway on the ground.
“We have Canadian Armed Forces assets deployed in the region staging out of Kuwait, including aircraft,” Trudeau said.
New reports have emerged of chaos at the Kabul airports where evacuations are underway, after the Taliban swept through Afghanistan’s capital on Sunday.
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For weeks, the Afghan interpreters who aided the Canadian military during their mission have been desperately trying to leave the country and are pleading for urgent help from the government.
One interpreter told CTV News on Sunday that he has filled out the necessary forms and completed the required tests to come to Canada, but still hadn’t heard about a flight.
There are an estimated 1,000 interpreters still living in Kabul. Many on Sunday rushed to the airport, the only way out of the capital, in a desperate bid to escape.
The fate of those Afghan interpreters is more complicated now that Canada has closed its embassy in Kabul.
Withcabinet members responsible now also vying for re-election in the federal election launched on Sunday, Trudeau is set to face a series of questions about the government’s plans to navigate the tumultuous humanitarian situation amid a campaign.
With a report from CTV National News’ Melanie Nagy and files from Denio Lourenco, and The Canadian Press.