Romanian Prime Minister Florin Cîțu declared on Monday that there are currently 35 Romanian citizens in Afghanistan, for whom efforts are being made to bring them back to the country.
“On August 13, the MFA raised the alert level to the maximum, at this moment there are still 35 Romanian citizens in that area and I proposed to the Romanian President to send a plane to bring them home. We have two options, a NATO plane or a plane of ours going there. But we need to send a plane as soon as possible. (…) They are not from the embassy, but from the UN and the private sector. They are safe at this moment, we keep in touch with everyone“, said Florin Cîțu.
The prime minister added that the fastest plane that could take the Romanians from Afghanistan would be the NATO one, which would go to Georgia, from where they will be able to be brought to Romania with another aircraft.
The PM also delivered a message to all Romanians still in Afghanistan, to “leave as soon as possible.”
He announced said that there is already a crisis cell for the situation in Afghanistan at the level of the MFA and the Ministry of National Defense.
President Klaus Iohannis has ordered the “emergency involvement” of the Romanian Air Force for the evacuation of Romanian citizens from Afghanistan, the Presidential Administration announced in a press release.
The president’s decision was taken at the proposal of Prime Minister Florin Cîțu, “given the accelerated deterioration of the security situation in Afghanistan, the need to support the repatriation of Romanian citizens still in this country, and the assessments of the Inter-institutional Crisis Cell convened by the Ministry of Affairs (MAE) “, reads the Presidency’s press release.
“Romania will actively continue political consultations and coordination with European Union partners, NATO allies, including the United States, to assess developments, their effects and to adopt the necessary measures for their management – both in regular formats and in special ones, such as the extraordinary meeting of EU foreign ministers on Tuesday, 17 August, or the emergency meeting of the North Atlantic Council on the same day,” the presidency statement said.
Romania and more than 60 states have issued a joint statement on the situation in Afghanistan, calling on Afghan and foreign nationals wishing to leave the country to be allowed to do so and calling on the current ruling forces to protect people’s lives and restore civil order.