A new flight with more than 150 Afghan refugees and their families from Islamabad (Pakistan) has landed this Saturday night at the Torrejón de Ardoz Air Base (Madrid). The arrival of the plane, around 8:45 p.m., has been delayed by more than an hour and a quarter over the initially scheduled time, at 7:30 p.m.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares; the Minister of Defense, Margarita Robles; the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska; and the Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, have received Afghan refugees and their families. A first flight with 84 Afghan collaborators and their families landed this Monday at the Madrid city air base from Islamabad and was received by Albares, Robes and the Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, José Luis Escrivá.
The arrival in Spain of the flight – in this case in an Air Europa civil aircraft, unlike the military one this Monday – is part of the efforts made by the Government to continue removing from Afghanistan people who collaborated with the Army or with the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) for the last two decades after the end of the first evacuation phase on August 27 due to the closure of the Kabul airport.
The Defense Minister on Tuesday praised the role of the Armed Forces in the arrival of more than 200 Afghans to Spain. “We always said that we were not going to leave behind those who collaborated with us,” Robles recalled in an interview with RNE in which he assured that “the role of the Armed Forces is always committed and generous and Spain has a commitment to the peace, rights and freedoms, even if it is far away ”.
The head of Defense has expressed her emotion at the reunion of families who in August were left departed because they could not reach the Kabul airport and who yesterday were able to see each other again and wish to remain in Spain. “These families are very grateful and want to stay because for them Spain is a benchmark of rights and freedoms, especially for women and girls,” said the minister.