French ambassador hasn’t left Kabul as Robert Peston claims

17 August 2021
What was claimed

The French ambassador to Afghanistan has left the country’s capital.

Our verdict

False. The embassy has relocated to Kabul airport.

As the Taliban advanced towards Kabul on Sunday, 15 August, the French ambassador in Afghanistan David Martinon tweeted a video of him in what appears to be a helicopter saying he was leaving the Afghan capital’s former “green zone”.

Journalist Robert Peston claimed the ambassador was leaving Kabul itself, as did the MailOnline.

This is false, and was corrected by French MEP Nathalie Loiseau and the French deputy ambassador in the USA, Aurélie Bonal

At the time this article was published, Mr Peston had not clarified or deleted the tweet.

Kabul’s green zone is the city’s diplomatic quarter,and houses a number of embassies, many of which have been abandoned following the Taliban’s takeover of the area.

Full Fact asked the French embassy in the UK if Mr Martinon was still in Kabul. A spokesperson directed us towards a tweet sent by Mr Martinon on Monday, saying the embassy had relocated to Kabul airport. 

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