Just 24 hours after Spain concluded the evacuation of Afghanistan, which the Government described as “successful”, King Felipe VI visited this Saturday morning, together with the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, the facilities of the military base from Torrejón de Ardoz, in Madrid, which has functioned since August 19 as a European ‘hub’ for the reception and care of Afghan refugees.
It will still be operational, probably one more week, until the last citizens of the Central Asian country are transferred to reception centers in Spain or other European countries.
The objective of the visit, as the Chief Executive said in his appearance yesterday Friday at Moncloa, was “to personally thank the entire operation and all the public servants for the work they have been doing” and that have made it possible to save 2,206 persons.
The monarch first chaired the meeting of the inter-ministerial group for Afghanistan, which included the socialist leader and seven ministers, coordinated by the head of the Presidency, Félix Bolaños.
Felipe VI, according to sources from the Royal Household, asked Sánchez to transmit his “recognition” to all the people who have participated in the device, due to his “will and professional capacity”.
After 12.25 pm, the King and the President, accompanied by these seven ministers, arrived at the hangar of the air base where they met the personnel in charge of the complicated and risky evacuation operation.
He was received first by the Chief of the Defense Staff, Admiral Teodoro López Calderón, and then he spoke at length with the acting ambassador in Afghanistan, Gabriel Ferrán, and his second in charge of the legation, Paula Sánchez, who landed yesterday Friday afternoon, on the last flight out of Kabul.
From there, they toured the host camp at the Torrejón base. The same path that Afghans have followed for days when they set foot on Spanish soil The monarch and the president talk for several minutes with the ambassador, Gabriel Ferrán, and the second of him, Paula Sánchez
The first stop was Foreign Health, which took the temperature of the refugees and performed a PCR on them before being attended by the Consular Emergency personnel for their identification.
These days, only one person tested positive for covid, a minor under 15 years old, asymptomatic, isolated with her family upon her arrival Later, Europa Press reports, the Afghans were cared for by the Red Cross especially children and families and by members of the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration led by José Luis Escrivá.
Defense coordinated the entire device and members of the National Police, assisted by the Civil Guard, were in charge of the final identification and started the procedures for the granting of the temporary permit to stay in Spain.