- Title: Plane with 53 evacuees from Afghanistan lands in Spain
- Date: 19th August 2021
- Summary: TORREJON DE ARDOZ, SPAIN (AUGUST 19, 2021) (REUTERS) ***WARNING: CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** VARIOUS OF PLANE CARRYING EVACUEES ARRIVING PLANE ON RUNWAY VARIOUS OF EVACUEES DISEMBARKING PLANE EVACUEES GATHERED ON RUNWAY AND BEING GREETED BY SPANISH OFFICIALS VARIOUS EVACUEES DISEMBARKING PLANE VARIOUS EVACUEES GATHERED ON RUNWAY MAN HOLDING CHILD EVACUEES TALKING TO SPANISH OFFICIALS VARIOUS HEALTH WORKERS CHECKING TEMPERATURE OF EVACUEES FOR COVID-19 PROCESSING CENTRE BESIDE RUNWAY/MAN UNDERGOING COVID TEST SPAIN'S FOREIGN AND MIGRATION MINISTERS JOSE MANUEL ALBARES AND JOSE LUIS ESCRIVA, STANDING BEFORE NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) SPAIN'S FOREIGN MINISTER, JOSE MANUEL ALBARES, SAYING: "We have a clear goal: (we want) to be able to transfer all those Afghans who have cooperated with Spain during all these years along with their relatives. As you rightly point out, there is something missing here. Spain has provided all the necessary resources for this process such as means of transport and phone contacts. But the Kabul airport is not in Spain's hands. But all countries which have had cooperators (in Afghanistan) want to evacuate them." FAMILY SPEAKING WITH MEMBER OF ASSISTANCE TEAM (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) SPAIN'S MIGRATIONS MINISTER, JOSE LUIS ESCRIVA, SAYING: "As it has been the case, for the last year and a half in all these type of arrivals, there is a COVID protocol and we have an adequate set up here to be able to isolate those who might test positive and their close contacts." PROCESSING CENTRE BESIDES RUNWAY (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) SPAIN'S MIGRATIONS MINISTER, JOSE LUIS ESCRIVA, SAYING: "With the number of people we are expecting, all of them will be transferred to state reception centres across Spain. From here they will go to different state centres or to centres supporting the government. Some of them who are big families will be able to accommodate in apartments. From there we will begin a process of integration with the country, they will attend Spanish lessons, they will have psychological support and they will begin activities with the administrations so they can progressively gain autonomy in the country." FAMILY SPEAKING WITH A RED CROSS REPRESENTATIVE
- Embargoed: 2nd September 2021 05:49
- Keywords: Afghanistan Plane Refugees Spain
- Location: TORREJON DE ARDOZ, SPAIN
- City: TORREJON DE ARDOZ, SPAIN
- Country: Spain
- Topics: Europe,Asylum/Immigration/Refugees,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001EQY48XZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A plane carrying evacuees fleeing the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan arrived in Spain early on Thursday morning (August 19).
Spain's Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares said the plane brought 53 people, five of them Spanish diplomats. The remaining 48 are Afghans working for Spain in Afghanistan and their families.
Spain plans to airlift around 500 people including Spanish embassy staff and Afghans who worked with them and their families from Kabul, radio station Cadena SER said, citing sources close to the evacuation.
Albares said Spain's goal is to bring them all to Europe as soon as possible but warned of the challenges the mission is facing on the ground in Kabul.
"Spain has provided all the necessary resources for this process such as means of transport and phone contacts. But the Kabul airport is not in Spain's hands."
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez offered on Tuesday (August 17) to create a hub for the hundreds of Afghan refugees to be airlifted out of Kabul to the European Union but did not give details.
Since the Taliban entered Kabul over the weekend, scenes of chaos have unfolded as thousands seek to leave, fearing a return to the austere interpretation of Islamic law imposed during the previous Taliban rule that ended 20 years ago.
(Production: Michael Gore, Marco Trujillo, Juan Medina, Anna Valderrama)
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