EU countries evacuate 17,500 people from Afghanistan
European Union countries evacuated 17,500 people from Afghanistan, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said following an informal meeting of EU defense ministers hosted by Slovenia, which currently presides over the Council of the EU.
"Together, the member states evacuated 17,500 persons, including 520 European Union staff and their relatives, who were transported to a hub in Madrid and from there redistributed to the member states that provided visas to them," Borrell pointed out. "It was done in a matter of few days without previous notice and under difficult circumstances," he added.
According to the EU top diplomat, "the only way forward is to combine our forces and strengthen not only our capacity but also our will to act. This means raising the level of readiness through joint military training and exercising and establishing new tools like the entry force" that will be presented in November. "This would have helped us to provide a security perimeter for the evacuation of EU citizens in Kabul," Borrell noted.