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Afghanistan, Di Maio: “Almost 2,700 Afghans brought to Italy”

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To date, from Afghanistan “we have evacuated all the Italians who asked us to leave the country, responding to the communication sent by the Embassy. We have brought to Italy almost 2,700 Afghans, mainly collaborators of Italian institutions, starting from our military contingent, and their families “. This was stated by the Foreign Minister, Luigi Di Maio, speaking on the Afghan crisis and its developments before the joint Foreign Affairs and Defense Commission of the Chamber and Senate. “A number destined to grow, considering about a thousand Afghans already safe at the airport and expected to embark on the next Italian flights”, he added. “It is clear – then underlined the minister – that the demand for reception of refugees and migrants from Afghanistan will grow, first of all in neighboring countries, but also for Europe. It is equally clear that there cannot be only national solutions to an emergency of this magnitude. It is therefore necessary that the European Union, beyond the management of the emergency, develop a common response, in close collaboration with the partners of the region “. “Creating humanitarian corridors from the same country of origin as the refugees requires the non-obvious collaboration of the local authorities and can expose those we would like to protect to danger, because the Taliban would have lists with their names”, continued Di Maio, underlining how “Italy must be proud of the work of its diplomats, soldiers and aid workers. Servants of the state and of the common good who have helped the Afghan people in these twenty years and who are continuing to give their best in Kabul in these hours, despite dramatic conditions “. “Our joint presence, with the Italian embassy in Kabul, the development cooperation agency, non-governmental organizations and our contingent in support of these activities, has allowed us to carry out numerous projects in support of women and for schooling of children, for the construction of wells, schools, roads and electricity grids – claimed the owner of the Farnesina – We made them with a unique approach to the world, what everyone defines as the ‘Italian Way’. I want to thank every single operator Italian for the work done and for the work he is still doing in that area “.” In due course, we will not be able and we will not be exempt – as the West, as Europe, as NATO – from an in-depth reflection on the lessons to be learned. reflection that must start from the objective recognition of our responsibilities, but also from the awareness of not having been in Afghanistan in vain “, said the minister, according to who “the fragility of the Afghan institutions, the instantaneous liquefaction of the local armed forces, the unreliability of the predictions on their strength are there for all to see. But it is also true that in these 20 years we have contributed to maintaining regional stability, countering terrorism, promoting more education, rights and freedoms for the Afghan people. It is precisely this awareness that spurs us to do everything possible so that those rights are not now brutally canceled “. In the Italian vision,” the approach of the international community, starting with Europe, should be articulated around five priorities: protection of civilians, protection of human rights, management of the migratory impact, humanitarian access, fight against terrorism. The most urgent priority is to carry out as many evacuations as possible and protect civilians “, then explained the minister.” The Western presence – Di Maio said – has guaranteed important steps forward for the Afghan people in these 20 years. . The heartbreaking image of Afghan women throwing their children over the barbed wire, entrusting them to Western soldiers, speaks of their terror, but also of the trust they continue to place in us. The cry of pain of the Afghans has brought the importance of development cooperation and humanitarian corridors back to public attention. The emotion we all feel must be followed by facts. I really hope that Parliament can respond concretely to this terrible tragedy by approving the increase in development cooperation resources. “” Despite the precipitate of events in Kabul, with the Taliban militias entering the city and taking control of the main roads to the airport, Italy was among the first countries to activate an effective airlift “, he explained, adding:” I take this opportunity to thank the men and women of the Ministry of Defense for the dedication and effectiveness with which they always collaborated with us and faced the emergency “.” After the Americans have left the Kabul airport – the hypothesized date for now is at the end of the month – it will not be possible, either for us or for any of the Alliance countries , maintain any presence “, then continued the head of the Farnesina.” We observe that in some cities of Afghanistan the Taliban are returning to impose unacceptable practices such as marriage precocious and forced and to deny women the most basic rights, starting with education “, he said again. “We cannot tolerate that the achievements of these two decades are lost. I am thinking, in particular, of the rights of women and children, the commitment of journalists, doctors, humanitarian workers”, continued Di Maio, arguing that “we will judge the Taliban by actions, not by words “.” We cannot allow the country to return to being a safe haven and a fertile ground for terrorist groups, a base from which to plan attacks and a threat to international security, “the minister then remarked. “We will have to find alliances and involve all actors, especially those in the region, who share this same concern, as well as Russia and China”, he added. “The presence in Afghan territory of groups affiliated with Al-Qaeda and Daesh and uncertainty. on the attitude of the Taliban leadership towards them are elements that cause concern in the international community “. This is the warning issued by the Foreign Minister, underlining how “Al Qaeda, although weakened, is still alive and can count on the ambiguity of the relationship with the Taliban and on their inability to effectively control the entire Afghan territory. Daesh, on the contrary. , he has always maintained an antagonistic position “. “The dynamics and balances that will arise from the new power structure are elements to be considered in the assessment of the terrorist threat – said the minister – in an equation that also includes the commitments undertaken by the Taliban leadership in the Doha agreements and cannot ignore the relations that the new leadership will have to maintain with neighboring countries “.” The Taliban’s fear of the suspension of international assistance projects and isolation could represent a significant lever in the hands of the international community to force them to accept commitments, whose implementation will have to be scrupulously checked “, he added.
“A simplistic and partial narrative of reality is making a comeback, pointing the finger at a single country: the United States. And today it contributes to foment anti-Western impulses, even in European public opinion. Moreover, in a moment of great collective fragility. linked to the pandemic “, Di Maio then added.” Those who weaken the Euro-Atlantic community must be aware that there are no alternatives to it – explained Di Maio -. Once this Alliance is over, there will be no other “.” L ‘The West must avoid leaving a void, which other geopolitical protagonists can occupy undisturbed, fueling a propaganda that aims to undermine the credibility of our democracies “, he explained, adding:” The West has made mistakes but also achieved results, like the affirmation of civil and social rights, especially of women, rights that today clash with the deep-rooted and radical intolerance of the Taliban movement “. And again:” We asked for an increase of at least 30% this year and over 50% next year to be included in the budget law “, said the Foreign Minister, urging Parliament to approve an increase in cooperation resources. development, to respond to the Afghan “terrible tragedy”. “We are one of the last European countries for cooperation funds in relation to GDP – the minister recalled – And it is only thanks to the dedication and sacrifice of so many diplomats, officials, aid workers and soldiers, that in recent years we have been able to help millions of people , with a result well beyond our means “.

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