Finland has proposed deploying military forces to support the Foreign Ministry’s relief team carrying out the evacuation operation in Kabul.
The decision to send troops is being made in accordance with the Act on Decision-making on the Provision of and Request for International Assistance. This is the first time the Act is being applied.
"The government met today (yesterday) and decided that a Defence Forces team is required in Kabul, that is, a force to protect Finnish workers, our own team, on the ground and if possible to help with evacuations from inside Kabul airport," Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said Thursday.
The Foreign Ministry is in contact with about 70 Finnish citizens or residents who are still in Kabul but cannot reach the airport due to difficulties in crossing the Taliban-controlled city.
Some 34 Finnish citizens have already been evacuated, including diplomatic staff from the embassy in Kabul.
Decisions on international assistance, which may include the use of military force in particularly demanding situations, require a report to be submitted to Parliament.
The Government submitted its report on the matter to Parliament today.
To operate at Kabul airport
The Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament will consider the matter as early as Friday morning, after which it will proceed to Parliament’s plenary session for a decision.
After consulting with Parliament, the President of the Republic will decide on the deployment of troops.
During the operation, the unit assigned to the mission will operate under the national leadership of Finland.
The troops will operate only at Kabul International Airport and in its immediate vicinity.