- Title: 'We did our best': NATO representative on Kabul evacuation
- Date: 28th August 2021
- Summary: ROME, ITALY (AUGUST 28, 2021) (REUTERS) PEOPLE DISEMBARKING
- Embargoed: 11th September 2021 12:49
- Keywords: Afghanistan conflict Italy Rome evacuation plane
- Location: ROME AND AVEZZANO, ITALY
- City: ROME AND AVEZZANO, ITALY
- Country: Italy
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Europe
- Reuters ID: LVA002ES71JK7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Staff involved in efforts to evacuate as many people from Kabul as possible did its best under the difficult circumstances it had to face, NATO Senior Civilian Representative to Afghanistan said on Saturday (August 28) after landing in Rome.
"We have a clean conscience... because with what we had, we did our best under the circumstances," Italian diplomat Stefano Pontecorvo told reporters upon his arrival.
Pontecorvo, who departed from Afghanistan on Friday (August 27) when the last Italian flights left, said those involved in the evacuation "crossed the line between possible and impossible to get out of the country everybody they could."
"I'm satisfied because we have left a few behind which we are not abandoning but we will strive our best to take back home," he told reporters.
Italy's military has airlifted over 4,800 Afghans out of the country, including 1,453 children, the defence ministry has said, as part of an international evacuation effort after the Taliban unexpectedly seized control of the capital earlier this month.
Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio praised Italian diplomats and military officials for their contribution to the evacuations of civilians.
"We have evacuated more Afghan nationals than any other European Union country," he said.
The Italian Red Cross has started welcoming the first Afghans inside the Avezzano camp on Friday, where it expects to host about 2000 people after the mandatory quarantine period.
(Production: Jaime Lopez Lopez, Oriana Boselli)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None