On a visit to Dublin on Thursday, President Macron hit back at claims from political opponents on the right that he had been naive in his approach to the Afghan crisis which entered a new stage of meltdown after bomb attacks in Kabul.

“A part of the political class says that we are naive, a part says that we are inhuman… The emergency is humanitarian,” he said, adding that France still plans to evacuate “several hundred” Afghans from Kabul.

Any evacuee is “watched, followed, also taken care of by our security services” and there is “no naivety”, he insisted.

Referring to the evacuation of Afghan nationals who helped France during the 20-year US-led occupation, he said: “We must do our duty, because it is the families of women and men who have helped us” and “our compatriots want France to keep its rank and its moral role and to live up to its duties.” He said that France must act “with humanity and firmness.” He also claimed that France is more welcoming to refugees than many other countries.

Mr Macron’s comments were made after news came in of a double suicide bombing at the entrance to Kabul airport, in which 12 US marines were killed as well as up to 60 Afghan civilians, according to the Pentagon and the Wall Street Journal.

PHOTO: Afghan girls caught up in the Taliban takeover Reuters