Another 60 Australians and Afghans with visas have been evacuated from Kabul

It comes as the first flight of evacuees from Afghanistan touches down in Perth.

Evacuees from Afghanistan are seen arriving at the Hyatt hotel in Perth, Friday, August 20, 2021

Evacuees from Afghanistan are seen arriving at the Hyatt hotel in Perth, Friday, August 20, 2021 Source: AAP

More than 160 Australians and Afghan visa holders have now been evacuated from Kabul after a third rescue flight departed chaos at the airport.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said 60 citizens and Afghans who helped Australia during the war were transported to the United Arab Emirates overnight.

The first Australian flight from Dubai carrying 94 evacuees touched down in Perth in the early hours of Friday.

Mr Morrison said lifting people out of other parts of Afghanistan was not possible with operations limited to Kabul airport.

"The situation in Kabul does remain chaotic," he told reporters in Canberra on Friday.

Defence Minister Peter Dutton again tempered expectations of rescuing everyone trying to escape the new regime.

"I would love to say we could pull as many people out as possible from Afghanistan. But it is a very, very difficult situation," he told the Nine Network on Friday.

"There is no sense pretending that you can get to the airport easily. There are checkpoints on the way to the airport."

The United Kingdom helped 76 Australians and Afghan visa holders evacuate on Thursday.

Mr Morrison thanked British counterpart Boris Johnson for the Royal Air Force assistance in a phone call after the operation.

"They also discussed their joint desire to further expand their respective humanitarian programs to further assist displaced Afghans," a spokesman for Mr Morrison said.

Mr Johnson stressed the need for a concerted international effort to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan through resettling refugees and increasing aid.

"The prime minister and prime minister Morrison update one another on the work the UK and Australia are doing to this effect," a Downing Street spokesperson said.

Australia has defended allocating just 3,000 places this financial year in its humanitarian program to Afghans fleeing the Taliban.

Mr Morrison has described the figure as a floor rather than a ceiling.

Canada has committed to taking 20,000 refugees, while the UK will do the same but over five years. 


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Published 20 August 2021 at 7:50am, updated 20 August 2021 at 1:17pm
Source: AAP - SBS

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