Hercules aircraft took over only one Romanian from Kabul. MFA: Others’ access to the airport is difficult
Only one Romanian has been evacuated so far from Kabul, and the other compatriots who announced that they want help to leave Afghanistan are still stuck in the city and, for the time being, they cannot reach the airport secured by NATO forces.
The Romanian Air Force aircraft took a Romanian from the airport in Kabul, but it will return after the other Romanians in Afghanistan, Prime Minister Florin Cîțu said on Thursday.
“Only one person arrived at the aircraft, it returned to Islamabad, 14 people did not arrive. We are now trying to see how we will bring them to the airport. We are trying to find solutions, there are several channels we are working on. The aircraft is returning to Kabul to take the other people as well. We have requests from other countries as well,” the prime minister said. He voiced hope that the Romanians who are still in Kabul will be taken over today.
A first flight to Kabul of the Romanian military transport aircraft took place in good conditions and managed to evacuate a Romanian citizen on this route, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced on Thursday.
The Romanian Air Force military transport aircraft landed safely at Kabul International Airport during the night. In addition to the military personnel of the aircraft, a mobile consular team of the MFA was on board, ready to provide specialized assistance.
The evacuated Romanian citizen is an employee of a NATO agency. The aircraft took off for Islamabad, where it arrived safely, being assisted on arrival by the staff of the Romanian Embassy in Pakistan.
The Romanian Air Force aircraft will make a stop in Islamabad in the next period, being ready to travel again to Kabul to evacuate other Romanian citizens when they arrive at the international airport. The evacuated Romanian citizen will be temporarily hosted in Islamabad, and will be brought to Romania, after the completion of the Romanian aircraft mission.
According to the MFA, the particularly difficult and dangerous security conditions in Kabul made that the access of other groups of Romanian citizens to the airport could not be achieved until the presence of the Romanian aircraft at the airport, although there was such a prospect.
Access to the airport is also hampered by check-in procedures at various checkpoints and the high number of people interested in arriving at the airport, and entering the airport is itself a complex process, the Foreign Ministry said.
In fact, there are also other citizens of European or allied states who could not get to the airport in order to be picked up by aircraft sent by their states. They are in different areas of Kabul and cannot reach the airport.
There are planes from some EU countries, such as the Netherlands, which returned empty on Wednesday to the states from which they left, because their citizens had not been able to arrive at the airport.
At the time of the operation by the Romanian military aircraft, 33 Romanian citizens were registered as present in Afghanistan. Out of these, 16 requested assistance for evacuation from Afghan territory. They are employees of a NATO agency, of a UN program, respectively of a security company with activities in Afghanistan, according to the Romanian Foreign Ministry.