News National Afghanistan ‘volatile and dangerous’: PM

Afghanistan ‘volatile and dangerous’: PM

Afghanistan Scott Morrison presser august 15
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia had done much for peace in Afghanistan but it remained "a troubled place". Photo: AAP
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Australia is working closely with its allies and security partners as the situation in Afghanistan deteriorates.

But Prime Minister Scott Morrison has declined to divulge whether Australian defence personnel are returning to the area.

The ABC reports RAAF planes are expected to arrive in Kabul as early as this week to assist in the evacuation of hundreds of people.

The US has said it would be temporarily send about 3000 extra troops to help move embassy staff faced with unexpected rapid gains made by Taliban militants that are further loosening the Afghan government’s grip on the country.

The UK has also said it would deploy about 600 troops to help its nationals and local translators get out.

“The situation in Afghanistan remains highly volatile and dangerous,” Mr Morrison told reporters in Canberra on Sunday.

“Over the last 20 years Australia has been a steadfast contributor to fight against terrorism in Afghanistan.”

Labor is deeply concerned for the security of Kabul following the Taliban’s rapid takeover of regional capitals, including Kandahar.

Mr Morrison said the government has been in close consultation with its allies and security partners as it always has been since operations in Afghanistan began in 2001.

“We are working closely with our partners to ensure a coordinated response,” Mr Morrison said.

“But we will not be discussing any operational plans at this point in order to maintain the security of those operations and of course to protect those who are the most vulnerable who are the subject of those operations.”

The final Australian troops left Afghanistan on May 28 and some 400 locally engaged employees and their families have already been resettled in Australia since April this year

“This has been a program which we have been moving on very urgently, very quickly, it is a very complex exercise and we have been continuing to keep our pace on these processes,” Mr Morrison said.

Labor said there is bipartisan agreement on the withdrawal of ADF troops from Afghanistan.

“However, given our 20-year military commitment to Afghanistan’s security and development – particularly for women and girls – we urge the Morrison-Joyce Government to explain what solutions are being considered by the international community to support Kabul’s security and respond to the growing humanitarian crisis,” Labor said in statement.