The recent decision of the United States to send home all its remaining troops in Afghanistan, and the consequent withdrawal of the remaining forces of the NATO allies, including Britain, has prompted extremely worrying scenes in the country.
Today, I was pleased to attend meetings with the Secretary of State for Defence and the Foreign Secretary, to discuss the ongoing efforts to evacuate those considered at high and imminent risk – including British nationals, Afghan nationals who have worked for the British government, interpreters, cultural advisers and embassy staff. Special cases were also raised, including prominent female academics and politicians, students who had been due to travel to the UK, and individuals involved in charities and NGOs. There was a recognition that comprehensive support for other refugees will be needed both in neighbouring countries and in the West.
I would invite all constituents with concerns for the wellbeing of family and friends, or the situation in general, to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I have spoken with the Leader of Denbighshire County Council, who has confirmed that the authority intends to provide support for at least one Afghan family and I will work with the Government and the Council in this regard.
Many will be following the situation in Afghanistan with deep concern, including those who have served in the Armed Forces, and their families. The conflict has had a significant impact on the Armed Forces community, including tragic loss of life. Forces personnel can be proud of their efforts over the last two decades, which have protected our national security, allowed the opportunity of an education for a generation of young Afghan women, and saved many lives. For some, the current events may trigger significant emotional distress and I would encourage anybody in that position to seek support; if you are having difficulty in doing so or have any questions, please do contact me.