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Friday, 27 January 2023
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The UAE works hard for the evacuation operations in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
The UAE aids for the evacuation operations in Afghanistan were not only an aeroplane for the ousted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani or an Australian military plane that carried 26 people, including Australians, Afghan and foreign citizens. The UAE made internationally-praised considerable efforts in the evacuation operations in Afghanistan. Tens of thousands of people passed through the UAE airports and its relevant facilities have been on alert 24/7 so far.

The UAE has been closely monitoring the current Afghan crisis especially because it has an active role in providing Afghanistan with relief aids. On August 17, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: 'We hope that the Afghan parties and movements will make all efforts to achieve stability and encourage development in Afghanistan to meet aspirations of our brotherly people.' However, the Taliban was surprisingly faster.

At that time, the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority and suspended flights to Afghanistan and said it was following the recent events in Afghanistan and assessing the current situation in coordination with the relevant authorities in the UAE.

The UAE did not hesitate to take part in the mass evacuation of Afghan citizens when their country collapsed after the extremist Taliban movement took over the capital city Kabul. The UAE provided great logistical help and humanitarian aids in the international rescue plan for Afghans and citizens of Western nations working in the country.

The US administration insisted on an irreversible complete withdrawal on August 31, although the international community pressurised to postpone it until late September because there is no enough time to evacuate all Afghan workers with foreign forces or international organizations.

The decision was reconsidered early last week and on Tuesday evening it was announced there is no postponement. During that time the evacuations were 24/7 and European governments such as Spain stated that they may not be able within the timetable to evacuate Afghans working with their forces or international organizations, therefore, the United States used US and UAE aeroplanes. Accordingly, other countries which have working communities in Afghanistan tried to catch up with the schedule and evacuate the largest possible number of fugitives from the Taliban.

Afghanistan

The UAE airports were important rest areas for the Afghan refugee, and until August 26 evening 39,827 people went from its airports to third countries. The UAE authorities provided the highest standards of health and safety, the thing that made many countries especially France praise the UAE. The French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and the French Minister of Defense Florence Parly visited the UAE, on August 23, to discuss the Afghan crisis and the evacuation procedures and other issues.

The two French ministers confirmed that since August 15 about 100 French citizens, 40 citizens of other nationalities, and more than a thousand Afghans, who were threatened because of their work in French NGOs or civil society organisations have raeched Paris. Later, on the same day evening, a sixth plane carrying 250 French and Afghans arrived in Paris, then a seventh plane arrived on Sunday night carrying 150 people.



The two ministers expressed the gratitude of the French President Emmanuel Macron because the UAE facilitated, in these hard times, the safe evacuation of the French diplomats, people and citizens of many friendly countries, in addition to the state’s relief efforts in Afghanistan last twenty years.

In the meeting with the French Foreign Minister, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Mohammed bin Zayed, noted providing humanitarian aids and support for the victims of the Afghan crisis needs international solidarity and corporation and this is part of the UAE's humanitarian message.

Dr Anwar Gargash, the minister of state for foreign affairs, confirmed that there are many people with moving stories and the UAE team provided them with care and support. 'Based on our values, we are determined to help Afghan women, children and families in these difficult times,' he said.

UAE

On August 21, the US State Department expressed its gratitude to the UAE for facilitating the transit of US citizens and embassy personnel from Afghanistan as part of the evacuations from Kabul Airport. The US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, thanked the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, and other countries for helping his country in the evacuations from Afghanistan.

The State of Department said: 'The United States is grateful to the United Arab Emirates for its humanitarian efforts and its gracious offer to facilitate the safe transit of U.S. citizens, embassy personnel, and foreign nationals evacuated from Kabul to third countries. The United States greatly appreciates the Emirati government’s support; it is emblematic of our strong and enduring partnership. We have no higher priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas, including our diplomats and service members in Afghanistan. We thank our Emirati partners for their support in this effort.'

On August 20, The British Ambassador to the UAE, Patrick Moody visited the UAE to look at the evacuation operations run by Britain to transmit people from Kabul to Dubai then to London. He praised the UAE relief efforts and providing its airports as a temporary safe location for Afghan refugees who worked with British government organisations or the British army. At that time, he noted that 1,600 people have been transferred, and the operations were continuing. 'This was possible because we have a fantastic team from across the UK government running this operation from our military and civilian colleagues. But most of all, it has been possible with the enormous generosity and commitment of our Emirati hosts who made this airport available to us and provided every possible assistance in order to ensure this operation could get up and running in the fastest time possible,' said Mr Moody.



On August 28, Margarita Robles, the Spanish Minister of Defense, praised the efforts made by the UAE to facilitate the evacuation of Spanish nationals from Afghanistan. She praised the vital role played by the UAE Ministry of Defense in the past few days and the logistical services it provided to the Spanish forces. She considered this a real representation of the bilateral deep relations between the two countries. The Spanish armed forces evacuated 1,898 Afghans with their families; these Afghans are employees who worked for the United States, Portugal, the European Union, the United Nations and NATO, in addition to the employees of the Spanish Embassy in Kabul. Sweden announced it ended its airlift from Kabul on Friday after evacuating more than 1,000 people, and today Britain officially announced the end of its evacuation operations.

UAE hosts Afghan refugees

In addition to the facilitated logistical evacuation operations and relief aids, the United Arab Emirates began hosting Afghan families of women and children, under orders of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The Crown Prince stated that the UAE has taken all necessary measures to provide the necessary care and support for them temporarily. The UAE provided them with the necessities of a decent life and achieve the noble goals of the United Arab Emirates in a tolerant and united society.

He also pointed out that the UAE has facilitated the evacuation of about 39,827 foreigners and Afghans from Afghanistan, using its planes and airports.

The UAE now hosts 5,000 Afghan nationals who have been temporarily evacuated from Afghanistan before going to other countries. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation stated that the UAE, at the request of the United States of America, will host Afghan citizens temporarily before they travel to other countries.

About the UAE efforts in the evacuation operations, the head of the Department of International Security Cooperation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Salem Mohammed Al Zaabi, said: “Since its foundation, the UAE has adopted humanitarian principles based on providing protection to the most vulnerable populations and lending a helping hand to other countries in times of need. The UAE is honoured to work with its partners in the international community to achieve everything that serves the interests of the Afghan people as well as foreign nationals who are evacuated from Afghanistan for humanitarian reasons.”

The Afghans who were proceeded to the UAE will leave in the next days on US planes. The ministry announced that the Afghan refugees will stay in the country for 10 days.

It is worth noting that the UAE National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority cooperated with the United States to establish a centre in Abu Dhabi where travellers from Afghanistan will have health checks and security checks before going to the United States or third countries.

The Levant News