Spain expects Afghan workers to arrive via Pakistan.


The passengers left for Kabul, Afghanistan on September 13, 2021 to board a Pakistan International Airlines flight. (AFP / File)

Madrid: Madrid said on Monday that it was expecting the arrival of its Afghan employees, whose evacuation it had arranged through Pakistan.

The ministers will receive the first flight with Afghan refugees arriving at Torrejon de Ardoz airbase near Madrid on Monday at 9:00 pm (1900 GMT) from Islamabad.

Spanish media, including the daily Alpas and National Radio, reported that Madrid would bring together 250 Afghans who had already entered Pakistan and would be flown on military transport planes.

It was not clear when the second flight was expected.

Weeks after Spain’s withdrawal, Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albers is visiting Pakistan and Qatar in early September.

Madrid evacuated more than 2,000 people during the Western evacuation, most of whom worked for Spain and their families, when the Taliban seized power in Kabul in August.

But flights had to be halted after the last US troops guarding the Afghan capital’s airport left.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said in August that Spain would not lose interest in Afghans living in the country but wanted to leave.

The European Union’s top diplomat, Joseph Borrell, on Friday urged bloc member states to host at least 10,000 to 20,000 Afghan refugees.

“To welcome them, we have to get them out of there, and we’re getting on it, but it’s not easy,” he said in Madrid.

The European Union (EU) has said that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ demand for 42,500 Afghan refugees could be met in five years – although any decision remains with member states.

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