Although Finland’s ambassador to Afghanistan followed the events of the last two years in a war-torn country Pekka Kosonen said he was equally surprised by the events that began to unfold during the collapse of the country’s government and Taliban rule.
The ambassador commented on the matter on Tuesday while attending a meeting of Finnish diplomats in Helsinki.
Kosonen said that before the country’s power structure began to change radically in mid-August, he felt that Western countries were ready to support Afghan security forces, both materially and financially, after international forces withdrew as planned.
"Yes, it was believed. But… it happened differently," he said.
Kosonen was on holiday in Finland when the Taliban took over the capital Kabul on 15 August. At midnight that day, the Finnish Embassy in Kabul was closed for the time being.
Now Finland, which has participated in peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan since 2002, has received many requests from Afghans waiting to leave the country.
"There have been no requests from people who have worked in Finland in the last couple of days, but there have been quite a few requests from others," Kosonen said.
The government has announced that Finland does not intend to evacuate guards who have worked at the Finnish embassy, for example.
"I understand the government’s position, which is the limit [on the number of evacuees] needed to put in place. But this is, of course, worrying and deeply unfortunate for these people. But right now the situation is what it is" Kosonen said.
The ambassador noted that the rapid coup of the Taliban also came as a surprise to experts.
"In fact, I still don’t know how this happened. Yes, there was a desire to support Afghanistan," he said.
Source: The Nordic Page