German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke out on Monday regarding the rapidly-deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, where the Taliban have seized near-total control. Her comments came ahead of President Biden's, which are scheduled for later Monday afternoon.
"We have all, and I also take responsibility for this, misjudged the situation," said Merkel, per German news outlet Deutsche Welle. "We had a wrong assessment of the situation, and that is not just a wrong German assessment, but it is widespread," she added.
The "breathtaking speed" with which the Taliban have advanced is particularly "bitter, dramatic, and awful" for "the millions of Afghans" who "counted on the support of the Western countries when it comes to democracy, education, women's rights," she continued, per The Washington Post.
The chancellor also called for a thorough analysis of what went wrong, and vowed to support refugees in neighboring countries like Pakistan so as to not repeat the 2015 migrant crisis, report the Post and Reuters. She implored other western countries to do the same.
Earlier Monday, during a closed-door party meeting, Merkel reportedly told colleagues that Germany must "urgently" evacuate up to 10,000 people from Afghanistan, and warned that the "fallout from the conflict will last for a very long time," writes Reuters. "We are witnessing difficult times," Merkel reportedly said. "Now we must focus on the rescue mission."