Before dropping the writ to signal a federal election, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the unfolding events in Afghanistan. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the capital, Kabul, for neighbouring Tajikistan as the Taliban closed in on the city on Sunday, seeking a "peaceful surrender" from the current administration.
"We've been constantly monitoring the rapidly evolving situation," said Trudeau, "and I've been briefed by officials earlier this morning to get the latest developments on the ground."
"As always, the safety and security of Canadian personnel is our top priority," he said. "The current situation poses serious challenges to our ability to ensure the safety and security of our mission. So, as of this morning, Canadian diplomats and personnel are on their way back to Canada."
He thanked them for their "tireless efforts" in their pursuit of democracy, human rights education, and security alongside Afghani residents.
"Our commitment to the people of Afghanistan, including women and girls, and the LGBTQ2S+ communities, remains unwavering," he adds, "and we will honour the sacrifices of Canadians, our armed forces, diplomats, journalists, and civil society have made over the past years."
Trudeau committed on Sunday to resettling 20,000 Afghans through the ongoing Special Immigration Measures (SIMs) program. "Our ongoing work to bring Afghans to safety in Canada under SIMs remains a top priority, and we will continue to work in close collaboration with partners in Afghanistan, and allies on this commitment."
"Canada firmly condemns the escalating violence. We are heartbroken at the situation the Afghan people find themselves in today," he said. "This is especially so, given the sacrifices that Canadians who believe and continue to believe in the future of Afghanistan."
Trudeau concluded. "We are committed to Afghanistan and the Afghan people."
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
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