France, Italy end exit efforts at Kabul airport

Paris / Rome: France put an end to the evacuation operations on Friday and its team at the makeshift French embassy at Kabul airport worked hard. The last Italian evacuation flight with Afghan refugees landed at Leonardo da Vinci Airport in Rome.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Defense Minister Florence Parly announced that the evacuations were drawing to a close with nearly 3,000 people transferred out of Afghanistan.

“The team from the French Embassy in Kabul reached Abu Dhabi before returning to France,” the statement said, suggesting that Ambassador David Martinon was also returning home. A French base in Abu Dhabi was the transit point for French evacuees before heading to Paris.

The Italian Air Force C-130J with 58 Afghan citizens on board arrived in Rome on Saturday morning, some 17 hours after leaving Kabul airport and after a scheduled stopover.

The Italian consul and a NATO diplomat who had coordinated the evacuations at Kabul airport were also on board. Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said Italy was ready to work with the UN and with countries neighboring Afghanistan on what he described as “the most difficult phase”.

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Posted on: Sunday Aug 29, 2021 12:28 am IST

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