Merkel on Biden’s Afghan Fiasco: ‘Everything Seems to Have Been in Vain’, Macron’s Migrant Wave Concerns

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has labelled the 20-year Afghan war as being “in vain” while French President Emmanuel Macron stated that the country must not again become a hub of terrorism.

The German and French leaders gave televised statements to their respective nations on Monday, with Chancellor Merkel calling the Taliban’s conquest of the last major parts of Afghanistan over the weekend an, “extremely bitter development. Bitter, dramatic and terrifying.”

While both nations contributed considerably less to the Afghan war effort than the United States and the United Kingdom over the past 20 years, nevertheless the conflicts have loomed large in their respective national debates.

The German Chancellor stated that the German armed forces had done a “great deal” in the country.

“We must never forget those who have paid for this with their lives, 59 Germans among them,” Merkel said and added, “and I’m thinking now of the pain of their friends and relations now when everything seems to have been in vain.”

Chancellor Merkel said the German Luftwaffe have deployed three aircraft to help in the evacuation of thousands of support staff as well as development and NGO workers.

She added that she had spoken to French President Emmanuel Macron on coordinating evacuation efforts and that the government would discuss helping states around Afghanistan who are seeing refugees flee across their borders in the wake of the Taliban takeover.

President Macron addressed the French nation at 8 pm local time in a brief address, saying, “A historic turning point is at work in Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, fell in a matter of hours. This is a major consequence for the international community and France.”

The French leader paid tribute to the 90 French soldiers who lost their lives during the Afghanistan conflict and vowed to bring their compatriots to safety.

Two planes and French special forces have been sent to Afghanistan to help in the evacuations, according to the French president, who added, “It is our duty and dignity to protect those who help us: interpreters, drivers, cooks and so many others. Nearly 800 people are already on French soil. Several dozen people are still on the spot for whom we remain fully mobilized.”

Macron also stated that he would not allow Afghanistan to become a hub of terrorism once again saying, “Terrorist groups are present in Afghanistan and will seek to profit from the destabilisation.”

“It is a challenge for international peace and stability, against a common enemy, terrorism and those who support it; in this regard, we will do everything so that Russia, the United States and Europe can cooperate effectively because our interests are the same,” Macron said.

Both Macron and Merkel spoke briefly on the subject of refugees from Afghanistan, with Macron calling for a European initiative aimed at “protecting against significant irregular migratory flows.”

“We will therefore carry out, in conjunction with the Federal Republic of Germany and other Europeans, an initiative to build without delay a robust, coordinated and united response,” he said.

Europe was struck by an enormous wave of illegal migration from 2015, with migrants from Iraq, Afghanistan, but particularly from the then-collapsing Syria crossing land and sea to the continent, a period that continues to have enormous ramifications in politics, demography, and social cohesion. The 2015 wave saw 1.2 million migrants from dozens of countries come to Europe in just one year — new predictions warn that the collapse of Afghanistan could see three million try to reach Europe from just that nation alone.

The new approach of Macron and Merkel is contrasted by that of the United Kingdom, which announced Monday that Afghan asylum seekers would be allowed into the country even if they lacked a proper passport.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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