ANKARA, Oct 12 (AA): Australia on Monday revealed that over 280 of its citizens are still stranded in Afghanistan, local media said.
During a hearing in the Australian parliament, a Foreign Ministry official informed the lawmakers that 129 Australian citizens and 157 permanent residents are stranded in Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover in mid-August, ABC News reported.
However, the ministry official said that most of them were not willing to leave the country because of their family members.
“There are of course some individuals who don’t wish to leave, even if they could, and others who are citing family members who are unable to travel at this point,” ABC News quoted Simon Newnham, an official of the ministry as saying.
These people want to get visas for their family members and also bring them here, Newnham added.
The official said around 26,000 Afghan families have applied for visas on humanitarian grounds. The total number of individuals seeking visas is around 100,000, he added.
In August, the Australian government evacuated 3,500 people from Afghanistan after the Taliban took control of the country.
Australia has already announced that it will accept 3,000 refugees and humanitarian workers this year, with a similar number expected the following year.