NewsWorldA plane with 294 Afghan refugees lands in Torrejón...

A plane with 294 Afghan refugees lands in Torrejón in the largest evacuation since the fall of Kabul

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At 10:13 p.m. this Wednesday, the plane that was transporting 294 former Afghan collaborators from the Army and the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation (AECID) landed at the Torrejón de Ardoz air base (Madrid), in what constitutes the largest evacuation of this type carried out by Spain since the fall of Kabul into the hands of the Taliban, a year ago now. Initially, 297 passengers appeared on the list, but three of them gave up at the last minute. The Air Europa plane chartered by Defense departed from Islamabad (Pakistan), where the Spanish Embassy processed visas and travel tickets. Several dozen of the refugees were already in Pakistan, but most had to leave Afghanistan on their own. The Spanish Government promised the Pakistani authorities that they would be immediately evacuated from the country so that they would be allowed to cross the border. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, and the Secretary of State for Migration, Isabel Castro Fernández, have come to Torrejón to receive them. Afghan refugees arrive at the Torrejón de Ardoz Air Base on a plane from Islamabad. Álvaro García Nothing further down of the plane, and after passing their scant belongings through a mobile baggage control parked next to the runway, the new arrivals, grouped into 32 families, have begun a laborious documentation process to apply for international protection status before moving on to occupy seats of the reception network arranged by the Ministry of Inclusion with various NGOs in the provinces of Madrid, Guadalajara and Zaragoza, for the most part. In her arms are 14 babies and hand in hand a good number of minors. Some cry after ten hours of flight and a night that is still very long. With those who arrived this Wednesday, there are almost 3,900 former Afghan collaborators of the Spanish military and aid workers who have been welcomed in the last year, according to diplomatic sources. The first phase of the so-called Operation Antigone, which took place between August 16 and 27 last year, involved the arrival, on 17 flights, of 2,181 Afghans, of whom 1,723 had worked for Spain and another 458 for the EU. , NATO, the United States or Portugal. Last October, another 244 arrived aboard two flights, one civil and one military, in what constituted the second phase of Operation Antígona. The third began on July 21, when an Army plane landed in Torrejón. Air with 63 refugees who were received by the Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles. Then, however, the arrival was not reported so as not to jeopardize the much larger evacuation this Wednesday. In addition, during these months there has been a trickle of arrivals to add almost a thousand Afghans from Qatar, Turkey, Iran or Kazakhstan. What affects the most is what happens closest. In order not to miss anything, subscribe.SubscribeThe Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares, accompanied by the Secretary of State for Migration, Isabel Castro Fernández, addresses the press after receiving a group of 294 former Afghan collaborators.Álvaro GarcíaAlbares, who last year traveled to Islamabad and Doha (Qatar) to request the support of their authorities for the evacuation of those who had been trapped in Afghanistan and promised that Spain would not leave anyone behind, assured this Wednesday that the arrival of new refugees “shows that the government speaks with facts”. The minister has renewed the commitment to evacuate all the Afghan collaborators of the Spanish troops and cooperation “until we exfiltrate the last one”, although “every time”, he has recognized, “it is becoming more difficult and complicated”. He has also stressed that the evacuation has been the result of “the discreet work of many ministries” and has revealed that, among the evacuees, there are especially vulnerable people, such as a judge of the Afghan Supreme Court with the previous regime.

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