Saturday, August 13

A third Spanish plane with Afghan refugees arrives this Saturday in Madrid from Kabul

A third military plane flies to Spain from Kabul, after a brief stopover in Dubai, transporting 110 Afghan refugees. The arrival of this third rescue flight is scheduled for this afternoon, as reported by The aircraft is transporting Afghan collaborators and their families and will land at the Torrejón de Ardoz military air base in Madrid, as did two previous flights on Friday and Saturday.

This same noon, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, are scheduled to visit, together with the chief executive, Pedro Sánchez, the temporary camp installed at the military base. The visit will be joined by the high representative for EU Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell. As reported by the Government, they will tour the facilities set up to receive refugees who have collaborated both with Spain and with the European institutions and who are now fleeing the country after the Taliban have taken control.

The Prime Minister will receive the European leaders at 12:30. After the visit, they will make a joint appearance before the media, with an estimated time of 13:30. The event will also be attended by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, José Manuel Albares, and the Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, José Luis Escrivá.

Before starting the visit, Sánchez, Von der Leyen and Michel will meet to exchange views on the development of the evacuation process and the situation in Afghanistan after the Taliban have taken power.

Capacity for 800 people

The Torrejón camp, with a capacity of 800 people, is the main gateway for Afghans who are being repatriated by plane from Kabul. In the case of those that cooperated with the EU, they will later be distributed among the EU countries according to the agreed quotas. Spain formalized its proposal to be the arrival point of the refugees in the telematic meeting that the EU Foreign Ministers held last Tuesday.

Today is Sánchez’s first public act since the Afghan crisis broke out. The Chief Executive returned yesterday, Friday, to the activity at the Palacio de la Moncloa after spending a few days on vacation in Lanzarote. The opposition has once again reproached him for not showing his face, despite the seriousness of the matter, and for having only spoken through tweets.

So far, four aircraft from the evacuation device have landed at that base and have arrived in Spain: two chartered by the Executive and another two by European countries. On Friday, 148 people evacuated aboard two planes arrived in Madrid after escaping the chaos that exists at the Kabul airport, in the vicinity of which thousands of Afghans are crowding trying to leave the country and Taliban checkpoints have been installed.