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Afghan interpreters to be given protection

Scott Morrison has all but confirmed Afghan interpreters who helped Australian troops will be evacuated and offered protection.

But the prime minister has been careful in commenting on how long the process would take, fearful it could put the interpreters at risk of persecution.

“We’re working on that right now and I can’t go into too much detail because I don’t want to put anyone who is the subject of what we’re doing there in any position of risk or danger,” he told 6PR radio on Thursday.

Mr Morrison said he and the government were well versed on the protection visa process.

“This is a program we know well. We have done it before and we will work through this steadily. Our form and our record is being able to use our special humanitarian visa processes to do the right thing.”

At least 300 interpreters are seeking protection in Australia as allied troops depart Afghanistan.

Mr Morrison acknowledged time was of the essence, with some of the interpreters placed on Taliban kill lists.

“We know what we need to do here and we’re getting it done,” he said.

The last Australian troops will depart Afghanistan by September, following America’s decision to end the war before the 20-year anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks.

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